By Ron Nicoletti, Gulfstream Handicapper — First race post Saturday is 12:30 p.m. The Rainbow 6 will begin with the eighth race, a maiden event for 3-year-olds and up at a mile. The sequence also includes three turf races.
Race 8: 1-2-10
I went three deep in the opening leg. PER CAPITA is making his 4-year-old debut for trainer Chad Brown, who is 28% with the 180 days plus layoff. CORNBREAD KINGDOM sports a pair of half-mile bullet workouts after returning from the layoff to finish 4th behind impressive winner Extraordinary. I also included FUGITIVE, who is stretching out after finishing 4th in his promising 6-furlong debut.
RACE 9: 9-5-7
Three deep again in Race 9 with MIAMI CROCKETT, who is a perfect 2-for-2 sprinting on the local turf for trainer Steve Klesaris. BAHAMIAN PRINCE will try to turn the tables on Miami Crockett after rallying along the inside to finish 3rd behind him last out. And I also included ZANNO, who makes his sophomore debut for trainer Wesley Ward after showing speed and finishing 2nd in an allowance at Colonial Downs. The gelding, firing bullets on the Palm Meadows turf, will race with blinkers off.
RACE 10: 7-1-6
LASTCHANCEFORLOVE debuts locally for trainer Brendan Walsh after an impressive victory at the Fair Grounds in which she used her speed to dominate 4 rivals. BOERNE is cutting back to three-quarters of a mile after returning from the layoff to break her maiden impressively at 6 ½ furlongs. And I added CHART, who showed she could stalk the pacesetters and win in her Tampa debut. She can sit in the catbird seat behind what looks like a torrid early pace scenario.
RACE 11: 10-11-1
BATTLE OF BLENHEIM, who drops to the $35,000 level after posting back-to-back turf victories here during January & February, including the last vs $50,000 claimers. HONEY WON’T makes his first start since using his speed to wallop a field of $35,000 starter allowance runners for trainer Bill Mott. And longshot SUBLIME APPEAL, who always runs his race, and just needs little racing luck to score.
RACE 12: 2-9-4
I’m leading with J P’S DELIGHT, who is back in form after following her disappointing effort in the Grade 2 Inside Information with an impressive $40,000 Handicap score going 7 furlongs at Tampa. PACIFIC GALE, a multiple Grade 3 stakes-placed performer locally, makes her return with the ideal stalking style needed to sit the ‘trip’ behind what should be a solid early pace scenario. And horse-for-course play LIZA STAR, a 9-time local winner, is stepping up the after putting it into overdrive when defeating $62,500 optional claimers in impressive fashion.
RACE 13: 9-4-3
I’m using three again in the final leg with TWENTY FOUR SEVEN, who moves the Saffie Joseph Jr barn after responding in its local debut with a hard-fought nose victory over this familiar competition. Note the barn is 40% with new claims. FLYOFF, beaten a nose by the top choice at this level and distance 2 starts back, drops after fading to finish 6th – as the favorite – in a $25,000 starter optional claimer at the distance. And KING OF SPADES, who has his claiming tag carved in half after finishing a troubled 6th (lacked room stretch) – beaten less than 2 lengths – vs $30,000 claimers.