Live racing returns to historic Pimlico Race Course Friday to kick off the final weekend of June with another opportunity to take down a Maryland state record carryover jackpot in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 that has swelled to $1,253,882.76.
Post time for the first of eight races Friday is 12:40 p.m.
The Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 22nd consecutive racing day during the last live action on the June 20 Father’s Day program, when another $150,942 was bet into the popular multi-race wager on top of a $1,205,592.51 carryover.
Sunday saw five favorites win in the six-race sequence, producing multiple winning tickets of $106.82.
Last solved for a $23,346.70 payout May 7, the Rainbow 6 jackpot is paid out only when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 60 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners while 40 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.
Introduced in Maryland April 2, 2015 on opening day of Pimlico’s spring meet, the Rainbow 6 has far surpassed its previous state record carryover of $345,898.33 spanning 31 racing programs before being solved by one lucky bettor for a life-changing $399,545.94 payout April 15, 2018 at Laurel Park. The winning ticket was purchased through Maine off-track betting.
Friday’s Rainbow 6 covers Races 3-8 and opens with a five-furlong claiming sprint on turf for maiden fillies and mares age 3, 4 and 5 (1:37 p.m.). Appropriately, Likely Choice is favored at 9-5 on the morning line for trainer Kelly Rubley, having run second in her turf debut over the course and distance May 22. Bourbon Wildcat, yet to race on grass, was beaten a nose in a six-furlong maiden claimer last December in her most recent start.
Race 4 (2:09 p.m.) is a 5 ½-furlong claiming sprint for fillies and mares 3 and up which have never won three races, or 3-year-old fillies. Long Point Beach is the 9-5 program favorite, returning to the main track after finishing off the board in a one-mile grass claimer May 23 at Pimlico racing first time off the claim for trainer Hugh McMahon. Jeanie’s Angel has been favored in both her starts this year after relocating from South Florida, winning her season debut May 23 and running second by a half-length June 13, both six furlongs.
An overflow field of 15 3-year-olds and up was entered in Race 5 (2:40 p.m.), a starter-optional claimer scheduled for one mile on the grass. Among the group are Tusk, winner of the 2020 Tropical Turf (G3) at Gulfstream Park exiting on off-the-grass win May 30 at Pimlico; Beltway Bob, racing first time since capturing the Maryland Million Turf Starter Handicap last October at Laurel Park; King Bubble, first off the claim for leading trainer Claudio Gonzalez, who connects at 28 percent with those runners; and Mokheef, a last-out eighth in the June 13 Prince George’s County.
The feature comes in Race 6 (3:12 p.m.), a second-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles that drew 10 horses including the quartet of Coal Truth, Clubman, Forest Fire and V.I.P. Ticket, all stakes winners who have combined for 33 victories and nearly $1.3 million in purse earnings from 134 career starts. Hanalei’s Houdini drops out of a popular win first off the claim for owner-trainer Kieron Magee May 31 at Pimlico.
Race 7 (3:45 p.m.) is a scheduled 1 1/16-mile turf allowance for 3-year-olds and up where Dig Charlie Dig is narrowly favored at 5-2 on the morning line over Dream Big Dreams. Dig Charlie Dig, trained by Jamie Ness, is winless in six starts this year, four of them seconds including each of his last three. Dream Big Dreams broke his maiden for trainer Brittany Russell in a May 14 maiden special weight at Laurel and most recently was beaten a half-length when second facing older horses for the first time in a restricted allowance May 29 at Pimlico.
Maryland Jockey Club host and analyst Naomi Tukker has her price play in Race 7, Benny Havens (6-1), making his second start off an eight-month layoff after finishing a troubled seventh June 19 at Pimlico.
“He was taking on some high-quality sprinters in that last event, so I like him in this spot,” she said.
The sequence wraps up in Race 8 (4:17 p.m.), a 1 1/16-mile claimer for 3-year-olds and up which have never won two races. The heavy 3-5 program favorite is My Sacred Place, who will wear blinkers in his second start for Russell after racing once last year on the grass for trainer Brad Cox. In his first start in 330 days, My Sacred Place was in contention early, dropped back and then came on again to be third in a one-mile claimer May 30 at Belmont Park.
My Sacred Place is Tukker’s must-use horse in the sequence.
“It doesn’t seem like there’s that much pace in the race, so I like the idea of him moving forward and hopefully leaving them all scrambling in behind,” she said.
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