Santa Anita Park sends its 2021-22 Winter/Spring Meet into the history books on Sunday with a Rainbow Six pool expected to hit $3 million. The 20-cent Single Ticket Rainbow Pick Six comes with a mandatory payout on the Southern California track’s closing day.

Rijeka-Santa Anita Rainbow Six
Santa Anita Park’s training titlist Phil D’Amato sends Rijeka out in the Grade 3 San Juan Capistrano, the track’s traditional closing day feature. Rijeka is one to watch in what could be a $3 million Rainbow Six. (Image: Benoit Photo)

With that closing day, mandatory payouts come on all exotic wagers, including Sunday’s 50-cent Late Pick Five, which comes with a guaranteed $500K pool.

Santa Anita’s Rainbow Six offers that monster payout for a single ticket carrying the winners of races six through 11. In the event no unique winning ticket exists, the entire pool will be paid to those holding the most winning tickets.

Track officials say there are 101 horses entered in the six races, giving the races in the Rainbow Six sequence an average field size of 10. Two of Santa Anita’s three Sunday stakes are in the sequence, including the Grade 3 San Juan Capistrano, which is Santa Anita’s traditional closing feature, and the Grade 3 American.

San Juan Capistrano a D’Amato affair

The San Juan Capistrano, a 1 ¾-mile turf marathon that begins on Santa Anita’s unique hillside turf course, is race seven. Its eclectic, eight-horse field includes 5/2 favorite Red King, one of two entries from the barn of meet training titlist Phil D’Amato. Red King won the 2020 San Juan Capistrano, giving D’Amato one of his four wins in this event. But D’Amato’s 7/2 Irish-bred Rijeka may offer more value and potential. He comes in off a 1 ¼-mile turf allowance score on May 15, his second victory in three starts.

The other stakes, the American, is the 11th and final race. Won by Bing Crosby’s Ligaroti in its 1938 debut, its 10-horse field provides an interesting handicapping puzzle appropriate for wrapping up the Rainbow Six. The one-mile turf race gives you some familiar names, starting with defending Pacific Classic champion Tripoli, one of three 4/1 second choices on Jon White’s morning line. He hasn’t run since finishing seventh in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The two other 4/1 choices are D’Amato’s Hong Kong Harry and Richard Mandella’s Ecrivain. Hong Kong Harry won his last two races at Santa Anita: a March 6 1 1/8-mile turf allowance and an April 16 conditional allowance. The 5-year-old chestnut gelding is 6-for-9. Ecrivain comes in off a disappointing 11th in the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate Fields. He did finish third in his previous start, a one-mile turf allowance on March 25.

With deep fields, Rainbow Six has a lot of spread races

Your favorite here is 7/2 Vannzy, who finished second by a half-length as the 5/2 favorite in that San Francisco Mile. He comes to new trainer Dan Blocker’s barn after that second and a victory in a March 25 turf allowance that came with a 96 Beyer Speed Figure. A three-time ungraded stakes winner, Vannzy has two wins and a second in one-mile grass races.

The Rainbow Six sequence begins in the sixth race, with a nine-horse, 5 ½-furlong maiden claiming sprint. The three to watch here are 2/1 favorite Besame Mucho, Eleniak (5/2), and 3/1 Arrest.

Race eight requires a spread. It’s a 14-horse allowance optional claiming, six-furlong turf sprint. Fast Buck is your 5/2 favorite, but pay attention to trainer John Sadler’s Argentinian-bred Southern Horse, the 4/1 second choice. Also warranting consideration are 5/1 Time to Party and Doug O’Neill’s 12/1 overlay Trainer Please.

Deep fields highlight this Rainbow Six

The ninth race is a 10-horse maiden special weight sending its contestants 6 ½ furlongs on the main track. It too may require going deep, with Mark Glatt’s Hero Status the tepid 7/2 favorite. Patron d’Oro, with turf ace Umberto Rispoli in the irons, is 5/1 as is Sadler’s Famous Star. Keep an eye on 12/1 Memes, who warrants inclusion.

Race 10 is a 12-horse, 6 ½-furlong turf allowance. Speed Lane is your 4/1 favorite, but 5/1 French-bred Lalic, starring the powerful tandem of Sadler and jockey Victor Espinoza, is a must-use. Keep an eye on 6/1 After Midnight, with riding meet leader Juan Hernandez aboard.

Santa Anita’s Rainbow Six starts at approximately 3:36 p.m. PT.