03/23/2016 3:20PM

Saturday's Rainbow 6 wager could set handle record


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – If nobody hits the Rainbow 6 prior to Saturday, handle records figure to fall when Gulfstream Park distributes the entire pool, which is expected to begin with a carryover in the vicinity of $4.5 million. First post for Saturday’s 12-race program is 12:30 p.m. Eastern.

Track officials are predicting that the bet will attract new wagers in excess of $10 million. The record Rainbow 6 pool of more than $6.6 million was hit May 25, 2014, by the late Daniel Borislaw, one day before a similarly much-anticipated mandatory payout had been scheduled.

Saturday’s mandatory dispersal will be take place with many of the area’s top jockeys out of town, riding either in Dubai or at Fair Grounds, including Javier Castellano, John Velazquez, Julien Leparoux, Corey Lanerie, and Emisael Jaramillo.

Solving Saturday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will not be easy, with field sizes in the six races, carded as the seventh through 12th events on the program, ranging from 11 to 14 horses. Included among those six races is the $75,000 Sanibel Island Stakes, which drew a full field of 12 3-year-old fillies scheduled to go a mile on turf. The Sanibel Island shares top billing on the card with the $75,000 Cutler Bay, which drew a short field and will be run earlier in the day.

Five of the Rainbow 6 races are scheduled for turf, beginning with the race 7 for 3-year-olds under maiden special weight conditions at 7 1/2 furlongs. Next up come open $16,000 claimers going five furlongs on grass, followed by the only main-track race in the sequence, which brings together 14 bottom-level maiden claimers at seven furlongs. It will be back to the turf for the final three events, all carded at one mile, a starter optional claimer for 3-year-olds, the Sanibel Island, and the finale, which is for 3-year-old maidens running under claiming tags of $25,000.

The field for the Sanibel Island is led by Harmonize, a Grade 3 winner at age 2 who will be making her first start since finishing seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Her competition will include Lira, who suffered her lone setback in four starts when second to Catch a Glimpse in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride on Feb. 27, and the two-time stakes winner Pancake.