By Jim Freer
Friday, Aug. 28 — Gulfstream Park will have ten races today with first post time of 1:15 p.m.
Gulfstream will have no stakes races. But there will be the huge attraction of a $418,278.16 carryover on the Rainbow 6 on the day’s last six races, as well as advance betting on the Travers Stakes (Grade I) and all of Saturday‘s other races at Saratoga.
Race conditions are fast and firm, following Thursday’s muddy and firm conditions.
Thunderstorms are forecast for the afternoon. But they would not yet be from Tropical Storm Erika which is in the Caribbean region and is unlikely to impact South Florida until Monday–the start of three dark days at Gulfstream.
The Rainbow 6 carryover is growing and continuing into its 24th day because on Thursday there were multiple tickets with the winners of all six races. The payoff was $15,114.48 for each of those four tickets.
The Rainbow 6 is a 20-cent-only per combination bet, with a 20 percent takeout. On Friday the sequence will be on the fifth (scheduled post 3:27) through tenth races.
Gulfstream pays out the full Rainbow 6 pool (day’s bets plus carryover) only on days when there is just one ticket with all six winners. On other days, Gulfstream divides 70 percent of the day’s Rainbow 6 bets among the multiple winning tickets and puts 30 percent into the carryover.
Also on Thursday, there were no tickets with all five winners of the Pick 5 on the day’s last five races.
So, Gulfstream paid out a consolation of $134.35 to tickets with four winners. There will be a carryover of $20,682 on the Pick 5 today. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent minimum bet with a 15 percent takeout.
The highest odds winner among Thursday’s last six races was Cleverness, at 9-1 in the eighth race. Still, there were no tickets with all winners in the Pick 5 and only three tickets with all winners for the Rainbow 6.
The six races had 48 starters-for an average of 8.0 per race. That is solid, but lower than usual for Gulfstream.
Thus, Thursday provided an indication of the challenges of handicapping a series of claiming races with large fields–even if you do not get knocked out by a huge longshot winner.
Thursday also showed that when the carryover is growing there can be a very large payoff, in this case more than $15,000, even if other winning tickets keep you away from the “life-changing” jackpot.
Heading into Thursday’s 10th and final race, there were 33 live tickets but just one that could take the full jackpot of about $480,000. That ticket was the only one with Mzeedancer, and it needed her to win in order to take the carryover jackpot. She never threatened and finished seventh in the nine-horse field.
The Rainbow 6 carryover has been growing since July 16. That was 24 Gulfstream race days ago, and the last day on which there was just one Rainbow 6 ticket with the winners of all six races. The payoff on July 16 was $164,483.32
Bettors wagered $107,984 on the Rainbow 6 on Thursday. It is likely that Rainbow 6 betting will be that large again today, and perhaps $200,000 if the carryover continues into Saturday.
On Friday Gulfstream will have advance wagering on the Travers Stakes (Grade 1) and all of the other races on Saturday at Saratoga in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Saratoga will have 13 races Saturday, with the Travers and six other graded stakes. Post time for the Travers is 5:46 p.m. Triple Crown winner American Pharoah heads the 10-horse field in the Travers.
Silks, Gulfstream’s ground floor simulcast facility, will open at 10:30 a.m. Saturday to accommodate Saratoga’s special 11:45 a.m. first-race post time.
Saturday’s first-race post time for Gulfstream’s live 12-race program will be 12:45 p.m.