05/23/2014 10:48AM

Rainbow Six players should feel need for speed

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The main track at Gulfstream Park has favored speed on a pretty regular basis since the meet began Dec. 1, but never more so than over the past several weeks. That means players should lean toward using horses who figure to be on or near the front in the two dirt races in Monday’s Rainbow Six sequence.

Of the 45 races on dirt May 1-18, 43 were won by horses within three lengths of the lead after the opening quarter-mile. Most of those races, 26, were captured by horses either in front or within a half-length of the lead after that opening call. And 39 of those 45 main-track races, almost 87 percent, were won by horses in front an eighth of a mile from the wire.

The turf course has been playing a little kinder to off-the-pace horses, although runners on or near the front during the early stages of grass races also have held a decided edge since May 1. That has been especially true over the past two weeks, with all the action on the turf having been confined to the outer lanes, with rail settings from 96-108 feet out, to allow for the restoration of the inner portion of the vast course for the upcoming summer meet.

Of the 18 races on turf over the previous two weeks, 15 were won by horses on or near the lead after the opening two calls. Five of the seven races run with the rail set at 96 feet were won in wire-to-wire fashion. That bias was tempered somewhat when the rail was moved out to 108 feet, with horses racing off the early lead having considerably more success; front-runners took just three of the 11 events decided at that setting. The rail will be set at 108 feet for the four turf events carded during Monday’s Rainbow Six sequence.