A $20 play for Santa Anita's $613,371 Rainbow Pick 6 mandatory payout

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

March 6th, 2021

The stakes-packed Saturday card at Santa Anita isn’t just a big day for horsemen. It’s also a big day for bettors.

The 11-race card would be well worth playing even without a $613,371 Rainbow Pick 6 carryover set for mandatory payout. But the Rainbow 6 definitely adds another layer of excitement to the proceedings. The final pool is expected to exceed $5 million, a lucrative pot for winning bettors to divvy up.

Let’s take a race-by-race look at the sequence and assemble a ticket on a ~$20 budget:

Race 6: San Felipe (G2, 1 1/16 miles, 5:45 p.m. ET)

The undefeated #1 Life Is Good (4-5) has an abundance of speed and looms among the early favorites for the Kentucky Derby. He’s training sharply for Bob Baffert (a seven-time winner of the San Felipe) and might be a genuine Grade 1 star in the making. We won’t get creative here—we’ll just single Life Is Good to kick off the Rainbow 6.

Race 7: Allowance (one mile on turf, 6:20 p.m. ET)

#2 Whisper Not (8-5) hasn’t missed the trifecta in three North American starts, including a game third-place effort in the Mathis Brothers Mile (G2). He can be a bit headstrong and ran off much too fast in a 1 1/8-mile allowance race last month, finishing second after carving out splits of :45.99 and 1:09.85. Cutting back in distance while picking up acclaimed turf jockey Flavien Prat should help Whisper Not reach the winner’s circle at a short price.

Race 8: San Carlos (G2, seven furlongs, 6:52 p.m. ET)

In this competitive field, I’ll oppose horses whose best efforts have come running long, including #1 Storm the Court (5-1) and #2 Extra Hope (4-1). Instead, I’ll favor proven sprinters #6 Brickyard Ride (3-1), #7 Exaulted (10-1), #8 Loud Mouth (8-1), and #9 Tigre Di Slugo (5-2).

Race 9: Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1, one mile on turf, 7:26 p.m. ET)

#9 Ride a Comet (7-2) overcame a wide trip and a slow pace to win the Tropical Turf (G3) at Gulfstream with a strong late rally. #2 Hit the Road (4-1) boasts a 5-for-7 record on grass and was tons the best in the Thunder Road (G3) over this course and distance last month. For Rainbow 6 purposes, we’ll use both in equal strength.

Race 10: Santa Anita H. (G1, 1 1/4 miles, 8:00 p.m. ET)

#2 Maxfield (8-5) is undefeated in five starts, winning four straight stakes with powerful finishes. The Godolphin homebred is clearly the runner to beat, though the fact he’s never run farther than 1 1/16 miles might be cause for pause. #5 Express Train (3-1) and #6 Idol (6-1) have actually run faster on the Brisnet Speed rating scale and are worth including in the Rainbow 6, just in case Maxfield stumbles in his first try over 1 1/4 miles.

Race 11: Maiden Special Weight (six furlongs, 8:30 p.m. ET)

You can make a case of some sort for every one of the dozen entrants in this competitive maiden sprint for sophomores, but we’ll use only four to conclude the sequence. The first-time starters #3 Patron d’Oro (7-2) and #10 Following Sea (5-2) bring sharp workouts to the mix, while the experienced runners #4 Mr. Impossible (4-1) and #9 First Class Dad (8-1) have already finished second against future graded stakes winners. One of these four should prevail.

The Ticket

Race 6, 20-cent Rainbow Pick 6: 1 with 2 with 6,7,8,9 with 2,9 with 2,5,6 with 3,4,9,10 ($19.20)

Good luck!