Horak: How I'm playing the Rainbow 6 at Gulfstream

Horak: How I'm playing the Rainbow 6 at Gulfstream
Photo: Gulfstream Park Photo

The Pick 6 is one of my favorite wagers to play on big stakes weekends. Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) Day at Gulfstream Park on Saturday is the next chance to test my handicapping skills on the big stage. For the 20 cent Rainbow 6, I like to keep my investment at $50 or less and have had success with this wager on days like Preakness Day, and on some of the super stakes Saturdays in New York.

In 2017, I nailed the $2 Pick 6 at Del Mar on Pacific Classic Day, but I did bet more than fifty bucks that day. This time, I am going to build my bet around Greatest Honour. He is my lone single in the Saturday Pick 6 sequence, and the total cost of my ticket is $48.

Race 9 - The Gulfstream Park Mile kicks off the Pick 6 and I will use two runners. #4 Performer just defeated some of these in the local Fred Hooper Stakes at one mile. He is 6-for-8 lifetime for Shug McGaughey.

The other one I will include is #5 Fearless for Todd Pletcher. He attended the pace in his first two career wins at Gulfstream Park, and did not show any early interest in his last four starts. He is firing bullets for this and reconnects with his winning pilot Irad Ortiz Jr. He sure looks ready to roll off the bench. 

Race 10 - This is the only non-stakes race in the sequence and it definitely looks like a competitive affair. I will go five deep in this optional claiming turf route. #2 Opry is the chalk and he has every right to move forward in his second start after a layoff for Todd Pletcher. His stablemate #4 Sayyaaf is probably the one to catch, and #5 Blameless was nabbed out of his last by a sharp first after the claim barn. #8 Bodecream drops out of the sophomore stakes ranks for Mike Maker, and #9 Street Ready returns for profitable layoff trainer Ian Wilkes. 

Race 11 - The Honey Fox Stakes at one mile on turf features solid morning line favorite #2 Got Stormy. Mark Casse reinvented her as a turf sprinter in 2020 and she had plenty of success in those shorter races. She was a classy turf miler in 2019 but there is no guarantee that she will rediscover that kind of form this year. I will include her on my Pick 6 ticket but she is not single material.

#4 Ricetta is an interesting returnee for Bill Mott making her second start in this country, and she is firing bullets for this. #6 Zoefelle is the other one I want to use on my ticket. She was excellent in the Marshua’s River Stakes last time, and that was her first start in more than six months.  

Race 12 - The one mile Davona Dale Stakes is a Kentucky Oaks points race and 2-year-Old filly champion #3 Vequist makes her first start of the year. She was solid in four starts last year and parlayed a perfect ground saving tactical trip into a win in the BC Juvenile Fillies. I will definitely use her but will also include #5 Millefeuille. Bill Mott’s daughter of Curlin ran well in all three starts last year including a good 2nd in the Demoiselle Stakes. I like her tactical speed and she easily graduated in a one mile race around one turn. 

Race 13 - This graded turf affair at nine and one-half furlongs on turf is named after long distance turf specialist The Very One. I first started following horse racing as a young lad in Maryland in 1980, and The Very One was competing at a high level at that time. I was fortunate to see her run twice at Pimlico in Gallorette Handicap and Dixie Handicap in 1980, and in the Washington D.C. International and Chrysanthemum Handicap at Laurel later that same year.

She ran well in all four of those races. She started 71 times with 22 wins and more than $1 million in career earnings. They don’t make them like that anymore. As for the 2021 renewal of The Very One Stakes, there is not much pace in the paper race. #2 Belle Laura and #3 Antoinette should be forwardly placed. I’ll use both of them along with a pair of Chad Brown trainees, #6 Kalifornia Queen and #7 Bacchnalia.  

Race 14 - The final leg of the sequence is the Fountain of Youth Stakes, and if I am still alive, I will happily put all of my eggs in one basket. #8 Greatest Honour is on the upswing for Shug McGaughey and he shows no signs of slowing down. He exits a strong victory in the Holy Bull (G3) and should run past these if he maintains form. 

The play:

20 cent Rainbow Pick 6 (races 9-14): 4-5/2-4-5-8-9/2-4-6/3-5/2-3-6-7/8 ($48.00)

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