Horseplayers around the country are digging into Pimlico Race Course’s Sunday Independence Day card, hoping for financial fireworks firing from a record mandatory Rainbow 6 payout.

Pimlico-Record Rainbow 6
Pimlico Race Course built up a record $1.35 million Rainbow 6 jackpot that must be paid out by Sunday. (Image: Maryland Jockey Club)

Coming into Friday’s eight-race card, Pimlico’s Rainbow 6 sits at a Maryland-record $1,351,928.63. That left vapor trails over the previous record of $399,545.94, captured back in 2015 at Laurel Park. That winning ticket, the byproduct of a 31-day carryover, was purchased at a Maine OTB parlor.

This weekend’s state-record payout is the byproduct of a 25-day carryover. Nobody has solved the Rainbow 6 since a bettor cracked the code for $23,346.70 on May 7. That happened eight days before the Preakness Stakes.

Cracking the Rainbow 6 code isn’t easy, to say the least. Not only do you have to pick the winners of six designated races, but you have to be the only one doing so that day. On days when there are multiple winners, 60% of that day’s pool goes to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners. The remaining 40% goes back into the jackpot pool.

Someone could find Rainbow 6 pot of gold before Sunday

On mandatory payout days, however, the entire pool is paid out to the bettor or bettors with the most winners in the six designated races. And Sunday is a mandatory payout day.

Of course, the Rainbow 6 could get solved on Friday, provided some savvy – and lucky – bettor nails Pimlico’s third through eighth races. A waiver maiden claimer for 2-year-old fillies opens the sequence. Two, mile-long turf races that drew a combined 28 entries also demand solving.

Should matters carry over until Sunday, bettors face a daunting card stocked with four stakes races. Two of those are six-furlong sprints: the Concern for 3-year-olds and the Lite the Fuse for 3-year-olds and up. Two Steve Asmussen trainees head each field: Mighty Mischief in the Concern and standout sprinter Yaupon in the Lite the Fuse.

Yaupon a tempting single here

Yaupon won the 2020 Grade 3 Chick Lang at Pimlico for the fourth of his career-opening four consecutive victories. That streak ended with an eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Mighty Mischief won this year’s Chick Lang.

The two other stakes are the 1 1/16-mile Caesar’s Wish for 3-year-old and up fillies and mares and the five-furlong turf Jameela for Maryland-bred females 3-and-up.