With the spotlight squarely on Gulfstream Park this Saturday, the track is offering a mandatory payout of its Rainbow 6 jackpot, and the pool is expected to exceed $5 million. It's an all-stakes sequence ending with the featured Florida Derby (G1). The minimum wager is 20 cents.
Let’s take a look at the lineup trying to find a few hidden gems to include on our ticket.
Race 9: Sand Springs Stakes
I am going four deep in the first leg of the Pick 6. #5 Newspaperofrecord (9-5) is one I will include, but she is hard to trust. The favorite was outstanding in 2018 and had problems settling in a very disappointing 0-for-3 campaign last year with two second-place finishes. She can win or finish up the track. #2 Zofelle (9-2) had her three-race win streak snapped at Fair Grounds on Feb. 20. She likes this distance and packs a decent late kick. #6 La Signare (8-1) has learned to relax and finish since moving to the Brendan Walsh barn. She is back at her winning distance. #7 Getmotherarose (6-1) captured five of her last eight starts. She is sharp and can finish.
Race 10: Grade 3 Orchid Stakes
Morning line favorite #6 Mean Mary (3-1) is the one to catch, and she probably wins this if she duplicates her La Prevoyante (G3) romp. #12 Elizabeth Way (9-2) has won two straight and should attend the pace, and #5 Gentle Ruler (7-2) went 6-for-7 last year and is a late threat if she is ready to go after a five-plus month layoff. I will use all three favorites along with longshot #7 Cap de Creus (10-1). Todd Pletcher’s filly is 0-for-8 on turf but was only a head behind Mean Mary Dec. 22 and missed by a head in her lone try at this distance last summer. She has tactical speed.
Race 11: Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks
The two favorites should suffice in this race. #9 Tonalist’s Shape (5-2) is 5-for-5 around one turn, and she no longer has a significant stakes experience edge over her main rival #5 Spice Is Nice (3-1). Todd Pletcher’s lightly raced filly ran off the screen in her local flat mile maiden debut Jan. 12 before returning with a clear runner-up finish in the Davona Dale (G2) at one mile Feb. 29. The $1.05 million filly is bred to love two turns and has plenty of upside. The early-pressing type drew a favorable post and is a possible single for me.
Race 12: Grade 2 Pan American Stakes
Strong favorite #9 Zulu Alpha (3-5) is razor-sharp and versatile, and he is the deserving favorite. Everyone is using him, but I also want to include #1 Channel Cat (10-1). The latter might attempt a theft from the rail in a race without any pace. His best effort last year was a front-running upset in the Bowling Green (G2). The versatile sort owns a pair of local turf wins and was a good third in the Fort Lauderdale (G2) late last year.
Race 13: Grade 3 Appleton Stakes
This looks like a spread race and might be the toughest stakes in the sequence. One horse I definitely want to include is #7 Social Paranoia (10-1). He romped in his first start after a layoff in his lone local turf try last March, and he ran well in multiple sophomore turf stakes after that big maiden win. I liked him on several occasions in 2019, and he might be better as a 4-year-old for Pletcher. The consistent colt owns fine tactical speed.
Race 14: Grade 1 Florida Derby
#7 Tiz the Law (6-5) figures to go off at even money or less and will be a single for many. I have nothing negative to say about the chalk, but I want to include at least of couple of others, among them #5 Gouverneur Morris (8-1). His numbers improved in all three starts, and he seems to be ready to return to the stakes ranks after a nice optional claiming route score off the layoff Feb. 14 at Tampa Bay Downs. Pletcher’s $600,000 colt drew well, owns fine tactical speed and fired a bullet for this on March 15.