09/11/2014 11:06AM

Rainbow Chasing: Gulfstream 9/11/2014


12:05 pm: Ten minutes to first post at Gulfstream (yes, if you've been sleeping under a rock lately, they now race at Gulfstream in September, and 11 other months), where I'll be playing the Rainbow 6. It's certainly not due to the quality and importance of the card -- two maiden claimers, three conditioned claimers, and an N1x allowance -- but because there's a mandatory payout of the pool, which begins the day with $123k in the kitty.

It's a mandatory payout on a somewhat goofy legal requirement. For arcane reasons, Gulfstream's racing from July 4 through year's end is technically three separate race meetings, the first of which ends today. The final day of an official race meeting mandates a payout of all carryover pools. In addition to the Rainbow 6 payout, a last-race super High 5 with a $44k carryover will be paid out regardless of whether anyone correctly selects the first five finishers.

Forget the usual Rainbow-6 requirements. On Closing Days, the Rainbow becomes a plain old pick-6 with a front-end payout to those with the most winners whether or not anyone goes 6-for-6. The whole pool will be paid out and it doesn't matter how many winners there are.

Only two scratches so far in the sequence, which is scheduled to begin with the 5th race at 3:21 pm: #3 This Is She from the 8th and #9 Epona's Grace from the 9th. That leaves fields of 9, 11, 9, 10, 10 and 10, which leaves 891,000 possible combinations. At a 20-cent minimum, you could buy the thing for a mere $178,200 but I wouldn't recommend it.

I'll be back with some thoughts and my tickets a little bit later, and then again starting at 3:15 to whine about the results as they happen.

12:45 pm: It's 86 degrees (feels like 92) at Gulfstream now, and there's a forecast of "Scattered Thunderstorms" between 3 and 5 pm, with a 60 to 80 percent chance of rain during that time. The two grass races are the 5th and 7th, scheduled for 3:21 and 4:25 pm.

In answer to your next question, I have no idea how Florida handles surface switches in closed multirace pools. In New York, any switched races become "All" races, as we most recently saw on Aug. 31 at Saratoga.

2:00 pm: The opener at GP went to a $78.80 winner who was 2 for 24 with a 1 for 49 trainer -- exactly he kind of horse wo would make someone rich, and cause me to call it an early afternoon, in the Rainbow 6.

Part of the appeal of playing mandatory-payout Rainbows is the unaccustomed leverage of the 20-cent minimum. You can buy literally 10 times as many combos for the same investment you would make in a conventional pick-6, and whatever level you are playing at, that's a huge difference. I'm looking to put in $2k or less, but that will give me as many combos as would cost $20k in a mormal pick-6, way over my limit.

Here's the lineup for those races. I'll post my play here by 2:30. [Update: Make that 3 pm, with turf racing cancelled as of 2:30 pm]

2:20 pm: Main track now officially "Sloppy" at Gulfstream; turf still labelled "Firm." 

2:30 pm: They just cancelled the rest of today's turf racing, so the 5th and 7th are being moved to the main track at the same distances -- and I'm back to the drawing board on those tickets. For those playing the 2-3-4-5 pick-4 that ends with the upcoming off-the-turfer, Race 5 is now an ALL for pick-4 purposes.

2:45 pm: #6 Sequestrate in race 5 now a late scratch.

3:05 pm: Here 's the play, I think. Still just the one scratch in the upcoming 5th, no scratches as of yet in the turf-to-dirt 7th:

3:15 pm: With 9 MTP, Rainbow pool is up to $313k.

3:40 pm: Start of 5th delayed till 3:31, with fans being exhorted to bet into a pool that was posted as $675k "and still growing" just before they went into the gate.

I overthought this one after the surface switch, moving Quick Hall from an A to a B and elevating Vitral from a C to an A. Looked like I was going to be smart for a while as Vitral snuck through at the rail and led in upper stretch at 9-1, but Quick Hall ran him down late as the 5-2 third choice. A B rather than an A means all the C tickets are now dead for 6/6, but the all-A's-B's ticket is alive 4x4x4x7x4.

R Lovely Lindsey, first-time Kirk Ziadie (1stW/Trn 92 .43 $2.14) opened 3-1 on board but is a huge favorites in multirace willpays.

3:53 pm: R Lovely Lindsey is now 1-to-5 with everyone else in double digits. Maybe someone's trying to get even for her last start at Saratoga, where she was unexpectedly slammed to 4 to 5 for her second career start and finished third, beaten 21 1/2 lengths. Today she switches from Danny Gargan to Ziadie, sheds blinkers, and drops from Mdn $40k to Mdn $12.5k.

4:10 pm: They were right about 3-to-5 R Lovely Lindsey, who had a daylight lead before the second "f" in "They're off" and increased her advantage at every call, beating 9-2 second choice Mini Brew by more than half a dozen lengths..

4:20 pm: Gulfstream just posted graphic saying that after two legs, there are 243,598 live tickets. I have to think that means "combos" rather than "tickets," -- I for example, am alive on only one ticket but with 448 live combos.

4:40 pm: Saturday Special collared 13-1 Little Boss in upper stretch and pulled clear to win the off-the-turf 7th as the 3-1 second choice as 9-5 fave Charlie in Charge settled for 3rd. Pick-3 comprising first half of Rainbow ($7.80, $3.20, $8.40) paid $60.40 for $2. That would be $6.04 for $0.20.

5:15 pm: Capriccio Blue, 7-2 second choice, ran down 9-5 fave Daddys Jewel to win race 8, fourth straight winner in sequence to pay under $10.00. Graphic now says 9,591 live tickets left. Assuming again that means combos, my best guess at a 6/6 payoff (barring a crazy longshot) is 100-300 winners at $2k to $6k.

5:39 pm: U.S.S. O'Brien, thiord choice at 9-2 in contentious field of 10, drew off late to win the penultimate leg of the Rainbow 6, leaving me alive to four horses in the finale for $2.4k to $7.8k. But I think I may have to root differently: I made 50-cent pick-4 savers to my C's in the finale and two of them are paying $203k and $35k for $2 -- and even a quarter of those are more than my largest Rainbow payoff.

(Please note that in the chart below, via NYRA Rewards, the willpays for #10 are listed between those for #1 and #2. I got way too excited when my eye went to the second line to see the willpay for #2 and for a moment I thought it was $34k. Also, some of those pick-5 willpays have to be for 4 out of 5.)

6:07 pm: Horse are being endlessly circled behind the gate as the Super High Five pool creeps towards $200k.

6:15 pm: Gameday Spanking, 12-1 ML but 44-1 out of the gate, closed strongly at the rail to win the finale and produce a $48k Rainbow 6 payoff. I missed it but my 50-cent pick-4 saver (A/AB/AB/C = $224) worked out better than if I'd tasted the Rainbow, as it returned $35.016 for $2 or $8754 for $0.50. If you played the late pick-5, you didn't have it and neither did anyone else, but it paid $2023.60 for $2 for 4 out of 5 since there was a forced payout of all pools today.

As for that Super High Five, with the weird result of 44-1 over 2-1 over 99-1 over 1-1 over 55-1, there was one $1 ticket sold with the first four of those five finishers and it paid $205, 788 for the old 4-2-3-1-ALL.

Phew, that's a lot of exotics. Almost makes you want to go make a nice win, place and show bet on a 7-to-5 shot. Almost.