01/22/2016 11:56AM

Slightly smaller fields reduce degree of difficulty for jackpot bet

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Things get just a tad easier for horseplayers trying to decipher the third week of the National Racing Club Sweepstakes Rainbow 6 Jackpot at Portland Meadows. The bet comprises races 10-15 on the Monday card.

Unlike the first two legs of the series, when 12-horse fields were the norm, each of the six races on Monday’s program have just 10 horses, which cuts down on the number of possible combinations. Some form in the two-furlong dashes has been established as many of the fillies and mares have already competed once or twice in the invitational event.

But several of the fields are largely made up of horses who haven’t shown much ability, so it’s difficult to take a stand with a single horse.

In the last two races Monday, for example, good form is extremely scarce. The 15th and final race contains horses who within the past two weeks have finished ninth (two), 10th (five), 11th (three), and 12th (two), along with an 11-year-old returning from a layoff whose lone win in 17 outings came in 2009.

The 14th race is equally inscrutable. Seven of the 10 runners are either maidens or have just one win. The closest thing to a horse with decent form is That’s a Bingo, who was a well-beaten second in Week 1 of the series but is 1 for 28 lifetime and 0 for 12 at Portland Meadows.

The most formful group is in race 10, which begins the sequence at 4:17 p.m. Pacific. Glorious Angel is a nose shy of being 2 for 2 in the series. Her sharp form is offset, however, by the luck of the draw, which assigned her jockey Ruben Camacho, who is 0 for 68 at the meet.

In the same race, Kameron’s Token won in Week 1 in a sharp 22.97 seconds, and Lil Ms. Wildcat has recorded a pair of seconds.

The top jockeys in the series have been Jorge Rosales, in second place in the rider standings at the meet, and Francisco Diaz-Lopez, with three wins apiece.

The bet has a 20-cent base, and each ticket must total at least $1. The takeout rate is 22 percent, and the pool is guaranteed at $100,000. If no unique winning ticket is sold, the pool builds, and there is a mandatory payout during the final week of the wager next month.