By David Joseph —-
Rainbow 6 Carryover Jackpot Reaches $40,000
Reminder: California Chrome works Saturday; Breakfast program starts at 7 a.m.
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Trainer Mark Casse sent out Awesome Banner and Piloting for works Friday morning with an eye on running them both on the Sunshine Millions card at Gulfstream Park Jan. 21.
At Palm Meadows Training Center, Awesome Banner, last year’s winner of the Hutcheson (G3) and Swale (G2), covered a half-mile in 48.50, the swiftest time of 43 workers at the distance. At Gulfstream Park, Piloting worked the same distance in 48.65.
Both horses are nominees to the 1 1/8-mile Sunshine Millions Classic. Westbury Stables LLC’s Piloting is confirmed for that race. Jacks or Better Farm’s homebred Awesome Banner is also nominated to the six-furlong Sprint, and could run in either spot.
“He’s obviously been sprinting, but our feeling is when he ran long before [in last year’s Tampa Bay Derby and Fountain of Youth] he had a virus and he was just not himself,” Casse said. “I didn’t train him at that time, but that is what the owner told me, so we’re contemplating running him long.”
Awesome Banner, who won five stakes at Gulfstream Park in 2016, finished fifth in his most recent start, the Malibu (G1) at Santa Anita Dec. 26.
Casse said Friday’s bullet work was typical for the 4-year-old.
“He does one or two things, he either goes really fast or really slow,” Casse said. “There’s no in between. If he isn’t going fast enough, he will actually pull himself up, so we kind of have to let him roll. He has a mind of his own. But you know what? When he’s as talented as he is, we let it pass.”
Piloting, a 6-year-old son of Tapit, enters the Classic following a runner-up finish in the local prep, the Millions Classic Preview at Gulfstream Park West in November. He was beaten that day by Mr. Jordan, who will pass the Classic in favor of Saturday’s Hal’s Hope (G3).
“I’m excited about Piloting,” Casse said. “I think he is getting better and better, and he’s trained good. I think this could be a good spot for him.”
The 15th running of the Sunshine Millions is the prelude to the 46th annual Eclipse Awards dinner and ceremony, which is being hosted for the fifth consecutive year at Gulfstream’s Sport of Kings Theater the evening of Jan. 21.
Rainbow 6 Carryover Jackpot Reaches $40,000
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved on Friday, creating a jackpot carryover of $40,000 for Saturday’s 12-race program.
Two horses were live to take down the jackpot heading into the finale. Multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $1,173.90.
The Rainbow 6 carryover 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, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool. However, on days when a mandatory payout is scheduled, the entire pool is shared by those holding tickets with the most winners.
There will also be a Super Hi-5 carryover in Saturday’s first race of $2,051.47.
California Chrome work highlights earlier scheduled Breakfast Program
In anticipation of Saturday, Jan. 14 workouts by Pegasus World Cup contenders California Chrome and Eragon, the weekly breakfast program opens one hour earlier at 7 a.m. and runs to its usual 11 a.m. closing time. Breakfast will return to an 8 a.m. start Jan. 21.
California Chrome, the 2014 Horse of the Year and 2016 Horse of the Year finalist, is scheduled to breeze at 7:30 a.m., his first work since arriving in South Florida from California Jan. 6. He will be followed by Argentinean Group 1 winner Eragon.
There is no cost to attend breakfast with a buffet available for $10 per person. Kids 2 and under eat free. T-shirts will be given away with each buffet purchase.
Who’s Hot: Jockey Luca Panici scored a riding double by piloting the winners of Race 2, Buster Rocks ($6), and Race 4, Backseat Driver ($26.40). Luis Saez won back-to-back races, taking the fifth aboard Trickita ($39.80) and the following race astride Break Away ($9.40).
Cover Photo: Keeneland File
Gulfstream Park is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida, and is one of North America’s top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world’s largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; XpressBet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets.