Last weekend, the Gulfstream Park Rainbow Pick 6 was ready to erupt to the tune of $20 million. The jackpot had not been won by a unique ticket-holder since Jan. 10, thus the carryover had grown to more than $6.3 million.
Gulfstream had marketed heavily that the entire pool would be paid out on Memorial Day. It paid out all right, but a day earlier, on Sunday.
Dan Borislow, of Palm Beach, Fla., won more than $6.6 million as the only winner of that Pick 6. He did it not by any great handicapping but by smart betting.
Borislow reasoned, correctly, his best shot at a unique ticket was the penultimate day. That’s when the pool size, $352,302, would be well short of the projected $20 million handle Monday.
He invested more than $15,000 using all horses in five races and four horses in one of the legs. That’s not handicapping. What he took was a calculated risk, and it paid off big time.
Gulfstream should not have had egg on its face if it had followed one simple premise. It should have carded the six easiest races in the sequence, not the six hardest.
For example, the first two races on the eight-race card were won easily by heavy favorites, Coco’s Wildcat ($4.40) and Party Till Dawn ($4.20). If just one of these two races had been in the body of the Pick 6, there would have been multiple Pick 6 winners and a carryover.
The end result was not some feel-good story. Borislow is among the wealthiest men in racing, thus the rich got a lot richer. And the fact is the massive carryover was built up on the $20 bills of much smaller players who were holding out for a chance to get even on Monday.
■ SAM’S TOWN HANDICAPPING — The Sam’s Town tournament will be June 6 and 7 in its upstairs ballroom. The entry fee is $500. Prize money will be paid to the top 10 finishers. The top three finishers will win a seat to the 2015 Horseplayer World Series. The fourth- and fifth-place players will win a berth into the Gold Coast Summer Classic.
■ BELMONT STAKES HAPPENINGS — There will be a lot going on next week in conjunction with the Triple Crown try by California Chrome in the Belmont Stakes on June 7. The events begin with three handicapping seminars June 6:
▶ Buffalo Bill’s — Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay Jr., Dave Tuley of viewfromvegas.com and I will be in Primm for a Belmont Stakes seminar at 3 p.m.
▶ Texas Station — Jerry Jacovitz of Jerry J’s Power Page will start his seminar at 6 p.m.
▶ South Point — John Kelly of EOG.com, South Point house handicapper Patrick McGuiggan and Ralph Siraco of the “Race Day Las Vegas” radio show will begin their seminar at 6 p.m.
The South Point also will host a free Belmont Stakes party upstairs in its ballroom.
Station Casinos will offer a $20,000 Twin Quinella on June 7 featuring the Belmont Stakes and one other race.
Finally, many race books in the Las Vegas valley will be giving away Belmont Stakes souvenirs with a minimum amount of wagers.
Richard Eng’s horse racing column is published Friday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @richeng4propick.