Looking for longshots in Santa Anita's $481,864 Rainbow 6 carryover on Jan. 18

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

January 18th, 2021

It’s not every day handicappers can enjoy top-class racing action on a Monday. But this is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which means Santa Anita will be open for action with a competitive nine-race card.

There are plenty of appealing wagering opportunities scattered throughout the afternoon, but you can bet many bettors will focus their attention on the Rainbow Pick 6, which spans Race 4 through Race 9. The $0.20-cent jackpot wager features a carryover of $481,864, and for good measure, the finale offers a $28,494 carryover in the Super Hi 5.

If your aim is to construct the only winning Rainbow 6 ticket and sweep the whole jackpot, you’ll have to get creative. The Sunday sequence concluded with a 38-1 winner, but even this wasn’t enough to trigger a jackpot payout. Quite to the contrary, with four winning favorites in the sequence, the Rainbow 6 saw 81 winning tickets return $1,936.92—better than the return for a theoretical $2 win parlay across the six winners ($1,491.30), but a far cry from six-figure territory.

So where should you begin in seeking longshot winners? Large fields on turf are usually a good bet, so Race 9—a $50,000 maiden claiming event for 3-year-olds racing a mile on turf—seems like a logical place to start. The race has drawn 13 entries (including three also-eligibles), most of them inexperienced or unraced. Many will be racing on Lasix for the first time, so don’t be surprised if a longshot steps up with a much-improved effort.

For example, one could do worse than support #11 Mongolian Ford (15-1), who showed speed in his debut racing 1 1/16 miles over the Santa Anita main track. The son of Shackleford will add blinkers for trainer Enebish Ganbat, who has gone 4-for-8 (50%) with first-time turf starters over the last few years.

The unraced #7 Sierra Pass (30-1) could also be worth a look. A half-brother to Stubbins and Golden Rifle (both stakes winners on grass), Sierra Pass has been training sharply at Los Alamitos and will carry just 112 pounds (11 fewer than the majority of his rivals) thanks to the presence of promising apprentice jockey Jessica Pyfer in the saddle.

Race 5, another $50,000 maiden claiming race, also offers a large field with 14 fillies and mares traveling 6 furlongs on turf. But looking for longshots isn’t the only way to boost your chances of sweeping the Rainbow 6 jackpot. Opposing short-priced favorites in small fields can be another smart strategy, since many bettors will single these seemingly obvious choices.

Such an opportunity comes in Race 7, the Megahertz (G2) for fillies and mares racing a mile on grass. Just six horses have been entered, with Rodeo Drive (G1) winner #4 Mucho Unusual (9-5) looming as a clear standout from a class perspective. The 5-year-old mare enters fresh off a victory in the Robert J. Frankel (G3), but her best efforts have come running 1 1/8 miles or farther. Can she be trusted at a short price while cutting back to a flat mile for the Megahertz?

Mucho Unusual certainly warrants inclusion in the Rainbow 6, but the newcomer #1 Brooke (4-1) is an intriguing wildcard with a chance to steal the show. A two-time Group 1 winner in her native Chile, Brooke is 2-for-2 racing a mile on firm turf and is clearly held in high regard—regular rider Jeremy Laprida has traveled all the way from Chile specifically to ride Brooke in the Megahertz. If Brooke manages to beat Mucho Unusual to the finish line, her 4-1 upset at the expense of a 9-5 favorite might be just as valuable for Rainbow 6 purposes as a 20-1 winner in a more obviously wide-open race.

Good luck!