Some favorites looks vulnerable in Rainbow Six sequence
by SCOTT SHAPIRO
Later this afternoon at Gulfstream Park is the mandatory payout in the Rainbow Pick 6.
With no one having the lone winning ticket on Friday the pool reached a massive $4,753,154.62 heading into Saturday's 14-race card and is expected to exceed $20 million when the gates open for the first leg of the sequence at approximately 3:43 p.m. (EDT).
It is probable that at least a couple of "chalks" within the Rainbow 6 will get to the wire first, but even likelier that a few will lose to horses that provide much greater separation in the sequence.
Here are a couple of morning line favorites that I find most vulnerable in Saturday's Rainbow Pick 6:
#7 Art Collection makes his second lifetime start on Saturday after a third place effort on debut for former conditioner Chad Brown. Since that strong performance first time out at odds of 5-2, the $130,000 Keeneland September purchase has moved into the Scooter Dickey barn, which makes one wonder why the colt left the barn of the Eclipse Award winning trainer after such a strong start to his career.
There is little doubt that a repeat of the son of Flat Out's initial try earlier this month will make him tough to beat, but I am not sure it is fair to expect that on Saturday afternoon. Firstly, he comes back in less than a month for a barn that is just one-for-32 at the meeting. Secondly, if he was out-kicked last time out what can one expect now that he has left the hands of arguably North America's best turf trainer.
I still respect the chances of Art Collection enough to pick him for third in this special weight event at a mile and a sixteenth, but at a likely short price given the field size and wide-open nature of this race, he appears one of the more vulnerable favorites on the Florida Derby card.
#3 Take Charge Paula is listed as the lukewarm 4-1 favorite in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) after a runner-up effort last time out in the Davona Dale (G2).
On paper, the $50,000 OBS March 2017 purchase brings an impressive resume into Saturday with five wins and two seconds in eight tries and earnings of over $347K, but all seven of her top two finishes have come in races run at one turn. The question handicappers need to answer on Saturday is can she be as effective going a route of ground.
Her lone effort going two turns last September was a 10th place finish in the Pocahontas (G2) at Churchill, but in all fairness she was bumped at the start and had an awful all around trip. It is easy to forgive her for the less than ideal voyage in that lone try at today's mile and a sixteenth distance, but I am still convinced that this daughter of Take Charge Indy will be best served sprinting.
I expect Take Charge Paula to be prominently placed early on in the Gulfstream Park Oaks under jockey Jose Ortiz, but she is likely to encounter quite a few others that like to do their running on or near the front end. If the Eclipse Award winning jockey can find a way to relax the Kentucky-bred early perhaps she will have enough energy left late to go on with it, but if that is the case I expect at least one or two gals from off the pace to out finish the Kiaran McLaughlin charge.
If spreading deep in the Gulfstream Park Oaks I can see including Take Charge Paula defensively, but if narrowing down to just a couple I think taking a shot against the morning line favorite is a wise move.
Good luck at the final Saturday of the Gulfstream Park Championship meet!