By Jim Freer
At Gulfstream Park today one big attraction is the $200,000 Royal Delta Stakes (Grade 2), where turf star Sandiva will make her dirt track debut.
Gulfstream also will have significant on-site and national attention with a carryover of $852,101 on the Rainbow 6 on the day’s last six races and a carryover of $75,780 on the Late Pick 5.
There are 12 races today, with first post of 12:35 p.m. The Rainbow 6 starts on the seventh race with a scheduled first post of 3:28 p.m.
The Royal Delta is the fourth race with a scheduled post of 2:00 p.m.
There are only six entrants. By keeping that short-field out of the late mix, Gulfstream is spreading out the money and enhancing the prospect that there will be large pools on the Rainbow 6 and Late Pick 5.
The Royal Delta has a $200,000 purse and is 1 1/16 miles on dirt for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up.
The field has Call Pat and Best Behavior, a pair of graded stakes winners on dirt, and speedster Penwith who has two third place finishes in Grade 3 stakes races on dirt.
Trained by Todd Pletcher for Al Shaqab Racing, Sandiva kicked off her 5-year-old season with a 1 ½-length victory in the Marshua’s River (Grade 3) on Jan. 9 (photo on home page).
It was her third win from four career starts at Gulfstream, all on the turf. Last season, she won the Tropical Park Oaks and Suwannee River (Grade 3) and finished second by a neck to Lady Lara in the Honey Fox (Grade 2).
“We just feel like the timing of this is good for her, so we’re looking forward to giving her a try on the dirt,” Pletcher told the Gulfstream media office. “We felt like the two turns, mile and a sixteenth in this race is the right place to try it.”
Sandiva has trained forwardly on the main track at Palm Beach Downs in Delray Beach for her dirt debut, showing half-mile breezes in 48.39 seconds Jan. 30 and 48.22 Feb. 6 since the Marshua’s River.
“I think she has the ability to have some tactical speed,” Pletcher said. “I would envision she would be somewhat forwardly placed. Where exactly that will be will be determined by what some of the other horses do, but I would anticipate she would be involved early.”
Joel Rosario will ride from post five at co-highweight of 123 pounds. Javier Castellano, Sandiva’s regular jockey, is riding today at Tampa Bay Downs where there are three Grade 3 stakes.
Pletcher also trains Royal Delta entrant Enchantress who will be seeking her first stakes win. Tyler Gaffalione will ride Enchantress, owned by the team of Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor and Mrs. John Magnier.
All six entrants are separate betting interests.
Miller Racing, whose principals live in Palm Beach County, has two of them—Best Behavior and Call Pat.
Best Behavior finished first or second in each of her last four starts, including a victory in the six-furlong Sugar Swirl (Grade 3) on Dec. 26 at Gulfstream – photo below.
Marty Wolfson trains most Miller Racing horses and is the trainer of Best Behavior. She has post six and will carry 121 pounds including jockey Edgard Zayas.
Miller Racing bought Call Pat in the spring of 2014 from trainer-owner Philip Sims. She has since been racing outside Florida and Miller Racing has placed her with trainer Brad Cox who will saddle her on Saturday.
Call Pat, with a late-running style, is coming off a third place finish in the Falls City Handicap (Grade 2) at 1 1/8 miles last Nov. 26 at Churchill Downs.
The daughter of Lawyer Ron won the one-mile Groupie Doll (Grade 3) last Aug. 8 at Ellis Park in Kentucky.
The 6-year-old Call Pat is co-highweight at 123, and has post one for her Gulfstream debut. Paco Lopez has the mount.
Looking to break through with her first stakes victory is Godolphin Racing’s Penwith for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The 5-year-old captured a one-mile optional claiming allowance Jan. 21 at Gulfstream, her first start in more than 11 months.
“She needed some time off, so we gave it to her,” McLaughlin said.
Penwith will carry Luis Saez and 119 pounds from post four.
Also opening her season in the Royal Delta is Calumet Farm’s Gamblers Rose, who closed her 4-year-old campaign running eighth in the Falls City.
Best Behavior, Penwith and Gamblers Rose all have histories of early speed. If there is a fast pace, it could help set the race up for Call Pat or for Sandiva.
Note — Photos of Sandiva and Best Behavior courtesy of Gulfstream Park.
A large number of Late Pick 5 and Rainbow 6 players were knocked out on Friday when 25-1 shot Locked Away won the eighth race.
As a consequence there were no Late Pick 5 tickets with all five winners.
The Friday pool was $118,882. Gulfstream made a consolation payoff of $520.20 to all tickets that had four winners, and put $75,780 into a carryover.
Gulfstream went into Friday with a carryover of $779,634 on the Rainbow 6. It is a 20 cent per combination-only bet in which a full payout is made only on days when there is just one ticket with all six winners.
Bettors added $301,975 on Friday. There were just three tickets with all six winners, largely due to Locked Away, and each received $56,362.74. Per the rules (below) Gulfstream added $72,467 to the carryover, making it $852,101.
The Rainbow 6 is a 20-cent only per combination bet, with multiple horses permitted in each leg. For example, a ticket with two horses in each race has 64 combinations and costs $12.80.
Gulfstream pays out the full Rainbow 6 pool of the day’s bets (minus the 20 percent takeout) plus the 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 bets (minus the takeout) among those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent (minus takeout) is added to the carryover.
Gulfstream has gone 22 straight racing programs without a single Rainbow 6 winner. It was last hit on Jan. 13, for $76,799.38. The largest payout of the current Championship Meet was $262,634.84 on Jan. 7.
It is likely that at least $300,000 will be bet on the Late Pick 5 and that at as much as $500,000 will be bet on the Rainbow 6 today.
On Sunday, Gulfstream will have the $65,000 Miami Shores Stake at 6 ½ furlongs on dirt for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up.
The Presidents’ Day card on Monday has 12 starter stakes, all with purses of $50,000 or $60,000.