01/01/2016 12:40PM

Portland Meadows offers $100,000-guaranteed jackpot on Mondays


Mondays during the winter months typically don’t offer many opportunities for horseplayers to make a meaningful score, but Portland Meadows is changing that in 2016. On Monday, the track is debuting its National Racing Club Sweepstakes Rainbow 6 Jackpot with a $100,000-guaranteed pool.

The wager will be offered on the last six races of each Monday card for six weeks, and if no unique winning ticket is sold during that time, there will be a mandatory payout Feb. 8. The bet has a 10-cent base, and each ticket must total at least $1. The takeout rate is 22 percent.

During Week 1 of the sweepstakes on Monday, each race will cover a quarter-mile and will offer a purse of $3,000, with jockeys being randomly assigned mounts. Jockeys will be awarded points based on the performances of their mounts, and those with the most points at the end of the contest will be eligible for bonuses.

Monday’s sequence begins with race 9 at 3:44 p.m. Pacific. Each race in the sequence drew a full field of a dozen fillies and mares ages 4 and up.

In the opening leg, for maidens, trainer Jennifer Rodriguez has a top contender in City Sensation, who has shown speed in most of her nine starts. The filly hasn’t raced since finishing fourth in an $8,000 maiden claimer going 4 1/2 furlongs at SunRay Park in July. City Sensation earned a 34 Beyer Speed Figure, easily the highest last-race mark in this field.

In race 10, for nonwinners of two races, Power Down will look to move forward for trainer James Young in her second start following an eight-month layoff. In her return Dec. 22 at this track, she led through an opening quarter-mile in 22.18 seconds before finishing fourth in a $3,200 claimer for nonwinners of two going 5 1/2 furlongs.

Race 11 is for fillies and mares who went winless in 2015, and Kameron’s Token should be hard to deny. Prior to running fifth in a Quarter Horse race last out, she had either grabbed an early lead or pressed the pace in all six of her Thoroughbred races in 2015. In a third-level $2,500 claimer going six furlongs at Portland Meadows in October, she led through a half-mile in a sharp 46.51 seconds before fading to sixth.

Race 12 also is for fillies and mares who did not win in 2015, and Slacker appears to hold an edge. Back in April at Mountaineer, she had the lead in a second-level $5,000 claimer going five furlongs before finishing second for trainer Troy Gayheart. She hasn’t raced since July, however, and will be making her first start for trainer Pablo De Jesus.

The final two races in the sequence are open to all older fillies and mares. In race 13, Cardinal N Gold appears to have the most early zip, having won second- and third-level claiming races for $3,200 and $5,000 by a combined 5 1/2 lengths at Portland Meadows in November for trainer Ken Peery. In the latter victory, Nov. 17, she carved out an opening quarter-mile in a brisk 21.98 seconds.

In the final leg, many horseplayers likely will single Gamblin Miss, who has turned in three consecutive sharp efforts at this track. Two starts back, on Dec. 7, she scored a front-running 6 1/4-length victory in a $2,000 claimer going six furlongs in the slop. She earned a 53 Beyer, one of her three consecutive marks in the low 50s.