04/21/2011 2:56PM

Rainbow 6 players chase what could be a $5 million jackpot at Gulfstream Park


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Terry Pompay admits she has dabbled playing Gulfstream Park’s 10-cent Rainbow 6 since the jackpot grew to more than $1 million a couple of weeks ago. What she did not know at the time was that her stable will be one of the keys for horseplayers trying to strike it rich when the entire pool is dispersed on Saturday.

The Rainbow 6 was last hit on Feb. 16. Track management decided last week to disperse the whole pool on Saturday since closing day falls on Easter Sunday and several major outlets, including New York and Keeneland, are closed that day. It is estimated that the final pool could reach as high as $5 million before the final ticket is punched prior to the seventh race on Saturday.

RAINBOW 6: Get past performances - Watch Mike Welsch video preview

Pompay, who has won three races thus far this meet, will send out Marias Pass as the likely second choice in the seventh race and Zero Rate Policy as the possible odds-on favorite in the ninth.

“I haven’t gotten any calls yet but I expect my phone will be ringing off the hook by Saturday with friends wanting to know if I like my horses or if they can single Zero Rate Policy,” said Pompay.

Maria’s Pass will race with blinkers for the first time on Saturday. The 5-year-old Maria’s Pass has started just five times in his career and comes off a third-place finish when dropped in under a $12,500 claiming tag for the first time on March 23.

“He should have won last time except he ducked in and out through the stretch,” said Pompay. “That’s why I am putting the blinkers on him. He should win Saturday if he doesn’t be a chicken.”

STEVEN CRIST: Rainbow 6 presents unique opportunity

Zero Rate Policy turned in a huge effort in a losing cause when debuting against statebred maiden special weight company on March 20, finishing second behind the well-backed and more experienced Turbo Compressor who completed six furlongs in a swift 1:09.20.

“I think he should improve off that race and it looks like he’s better than the other ones in the field who have already started,” said Pompay. “Of course there are a few first-time starters in there and you never know exactly how good they are but I think mine is a pretty good 3-year-old.”

The Rainbow 6 was nearly hit for over $1M on April 14, but longshot Fly Bye Wildcat was caught in deep stretch.

Pompay said being the center of attention during the early part of the Rainbow 6 sequence will not change how she approaches her two races on Saturday.

“There’s no extra pressure because of the pick 6,” said Pompay. “I just want to win a couple of races. The purse is awesome for my 3-year-old in the ninth race since he’s a Florida-bred so I’m just treating these like any other races.”

And will Pompay play the Rainbow 6 herself?

“I admit I fell for that thing too and have been playing lately but only the quick picks, which is like a lottery,” said Pompay. “But with these two horses running, maybe I’ll have to make out my own ticket and take a couple of singles.”

The following is an analysis of the six Rainbow 6 races, the first of which is scheduled to go off at 4:15 p.m. Eastern.

Race 7: At first glance, Game On would appear to be a possible single to open the sequence. But the fact he has been beaten at odds-on in each of his last three starts makes him a risky prosposition as a stand alone. Maria’s Pass is almost a must use after finishing third against similar in his last. Adds blinkers, worked a bullet for this. Indian Fog looks logical switching to the red-hot Jamie Ness barn if he should draw in off the also-eligible list. Those looking to spread deeper might want to use Rumbletown coming off the turf and turning back in distance after being hung wide going nine furlongs in his debut. Barn has been hot of late.

Race 8: Walt’s Whiz is perhaps the most logical winner, having just missed in each of his last two turf sprint tries against better. After that there are several question marks in the field, but probably must-use horses – especially for those taking a big spread ticket. Knight Shot was dull in his last and off the board in both previous grass tries but is bred for the going, as a half to four grass winners, including a $250,000 earner, Jungle Fighter. Rein of Kings exits a huge effort on the main but steps up in company and is a question mark on grass. Notonthesamepage is another new addition to the Ness stable but obviously is a shell of his former self and another who has never run on turf. He is a half to multiple grass winner Holiday for Kitten. Wild Storm Cat has been off since last June but won his only turf sprint and is working well for his return. Si Senora could be a sleeper off a sharp half-mile work, had a nice gallop out at Calder on April 10.

Race 9: If there is a legitimate single in the sequence it’s probably Zero Rate Policy, who set a lively pace before succumbing to well-meant Turbo Compressor in a fast Florida-bred maiden special weight dash on March 20. For those who want a little protection, Hebert Hall has trained extremely well on a steady basis in preparation for his debut and is by above average debut sire Officer. Peasant is well bred by Awesome Again out of a multiple Grade 1-placed mare although his works at Palm Meadows seem ordinary at best and he shows a three-week gap from March 11 through March 31 on the tab.

Race 10: The turf dart board starts here. Performing is in top form and comes off the best race of the bunch but he did get a perfect trip and might not duplicate the effort as the likely favorite. Sovereign Crisis also comes off a nice $50,000 starter win and is hard to leave off any ticket. More is Better and Zaniah can win but could also negate each other if they get involved in a torrid pace battle as both are at their best on the front end. Silver Rock is a real unknown. He worked well here on March 12 but then shows a scary 30-day gap until the next one. For those spreading here, Waquoit’s Dance slipped through along the rail to win her last but is an improving filly while Ithinkihadthatone ran better than her final number might indicate after getting away slow and finishing with good speed albeit against much softer conditioned claiming types. Morningsideheights is not impossible but would have to step up her game or get very lucky to pass all of these.

Race 11: Hard to eliminate too many of these so the advantage goes to those able to spread real wide in this one. Capital Market exits a fast race when turning in an even effort while hung wide and note both the second- and third-place finishers have already come back to win. This barn has been cold here but did win the Blue Grass and a nice maiden race last week at Keeneland. Houngun is probably a must use despite the long layoff. Held his own against stakes company in a series of well-graded races last year in New Jersey and has worked fairly regularly for his return. Gathering Cloud is as fast as any from a figures standpoint but not the winning type and has reacted negatively to all his faster races of late. Harlous is good now but will need some racing luck to get through this field. Dover Beach is on the improve while Storm Chant and Chinglish not complete throw-outs in their current form but must up their games to take down the major prize.

Race 12: This is the type of race where almost anything can happen. Consider that Shahadaroba is winless in 17 starts but looks as good as any as she projects to be loose on the lead and could steal it. Chance Review ran well enough two back to win but tossed in a clunker last time. Misa Luisa was not disgraced by a bit better despite trouble in her turf bow. Sassidy has shown a little life of late while falling farther back than expected in each of her last pair but must overcome a tough post. Diaper Dandy showed little in her only previous start over the surface but must respect the barn and the addition of blinkers. Persistence takes a big class plunge and probably should be used on the deeper tickets.

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