Saturday, February 9, 2019
HALLANDALE BEACH – Averill Racing and Matties Racing’s Pay Any Price, the North American record- holder for five furlongs on the turf, got his 9-year-old season off to a successful start with a front-running victory Friday at Gulfstream Park. Ridden by Championship Meet leader Luis Saez for trainer Georgina Baxter, Pay Any Price was favored at 1-5 against five rivals in the $31,000 starter optional claimer for 4-year-olds and up. The final time was 55.11 seconds over a firm course, well off his record time of 53.61 set winning Gulfstream’s 2017 Silks Run.
“He’s so special to our barn and special to everyone, really," Baxter said. "I have to thank Richard and Mr. Matties for letting me train him. It’s his first run of the year, so it’s good to see him in the winner’s circle. I always get nervous when he runs. You never know quite what he’s going to do.”
Don’t Be So Salty, left as the primary pace threat for Pay Any Price following the early scratch of Gran Malbec, broke in a tangle from the gate allowing Pay Any Price to establish the tempo. He was unhurried through a quarter-mile in 21.93 seconds with only mild pressure from 17-1 shot Royal Squeeze.
Pay Any Price went a half-mile in a sizzling 43.77 and straightened for home still in command, opening up on the field in the stretch and geared down approaching the wire by Saez as Bushrod came running late to pass Royal Squeeze for second.
It was the 16th win from 26 career starts for Pay Any Price, and 13th of 18 at Gulfstream for the gelding who was entered in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint last fall but was left on the also-eligible list. He missed a start in the Turf Dash at Tampa when he broke through the gate, then dueled with Turf Dash winner Vision Perfect before tiring to third in the Janus Stakes on Dec. 29 at Gulfstream, his first start in 3 ½ months. He was entered again in the $150,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint on Jan. 26, but was removed when the race was taken off the grass.
Baxter said the $75,000 Silks Run on March 9 at Gulfstream would be the next target for Pay Any Price. His win was the second of the day for his trainer, who also sent out R Next Roll ($7.60) in Race 3.
Rainbow 6 Carryover at $1.5 Million for Mandatory Payout
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There will be a carryover jackpot of $1,509,922 heading into today's mandatory payout of the 20-cent Rainbow 6, after the multi-race wager went unsolved for the 23rd consecutive racing day Friday. The entire pool, including the carryover jackpot, could approach $10 million and will be paid out to all those holding tickets with the most winners, offering the potential for a truly life-changing payoff.
The Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 7-12 and will feature the $100,000 El Prado Stakes in Race 11. Hembree headlines the 13-horse field for the 7 ½-furlong turf sprint for older horses.
A total of $403,175 was bet into Friday’s Rainbow 6, which began with a carryover of $1,413,193 from Thursday’s card. Multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $7,782.78. Since the Championship Meet kicked off Dec. 1, the Rainbow 6 has been hit five times, most recently for a $188,900.81 payout on Jan. 9.
Who’s Hot: The meet’s top two riders each added a pair of winners to their totals Friday. Two-time defending champ and current leader Luis Saez was first with Pay Any Price ($2.60) in Race 8 and Benefactor ($11.20) in Race 11, while Irad Ortiz Jr. scored on Tuesday’s Rose ($3.60) in Race 2 and Mybigitalianfriend ($2.80) in Race 6.