One major event is off, the other is still on.

The $12 million Dubai World Cup 2020 has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns. It is scheduled to return next year.

Horse betting fans in Atlantic City and around the country can turn their focus to Gulfstream Park. The Florida event now commands center stage on Saturday.

Announcements keep flying as racing faces a fluid situation in the midst of the coronavirus. Changes have been constant.

The Florida Derby and the Gulfstream Park Rainbow Pick 6, with a betting pool expected to be several million dollars, is going forward as of now.

Tracks like Laurel in Maryland and Aqueduct in New York have paused their schedules.

On the other hand, Gulfstream and Tampa Bay in Florida, Louisiana Downs, Oaklawn in Arkansas and Santa Anita in California have been proceeding, without spectators.

Betting the Gulfstream Park card

The Gulfstream Park card is available to the New Jersey sports betting crowd via 4NJBets.com, powered by TVG.

A 4NJBets spokesman said Sunday that all decisions regarding the Rainbow Pick 6 menu will be determined by Gulfstream Park’s schedule. If Gulfstream offers it, so will 4NJBets.

A Gulfstream Park official said Sunday evening the races are still scheduled for next week, including the illustrious Florida Derby card. The track’s daily replay show also announced racing would resume on Wednesday, as scheduled.

Florida Derby Day gamblers hope the schedule permits one of the finest betting days of the year.

It hardly matters to bettors that the Derby purse of $1 million was chopped to $750,000, reflecting the absence of on-track handle. The track decided to run without spectators beginning March 14.

The March 28 program at Gulfstream will also see reductions to other major stakes.

The Kitten’s Joy Pan American Stakes (G2T) and the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) will both drop from $250,000 to $200,000, and the Cutler Bay Stakes and Sanibel Island Stakes will dip from $125,000 to $100,000 apiece.

It’s still a nice payday for owners and a cavalcade of top attractions for Gulfstream, which concludes its championship meet Sunday.

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Over the rainbow lies a pot of gold

The 20-cent Rainbow 6 will offer a guaranteed jackpot pool of $1.9 million Wednesday at Gulfstream Park, officials said.

The popular multi-race wager went unsolved for the 18th racing day in a row Sunday since being hit for a jackpot of $468,945 Feb. 27.

Multiple tickets with all six winners Sunday were each worth $1,139.28

The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners.

On days when there is no unique ticket, 70% of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners. Thirty percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.

Gulfstream likes to lure big betting action with the Saturday races, spiking the Pick 6 pool substantially. Bettors could be wagering into a pool of more than $5 million.  And as long as there is not a single pick-six winner before Sunday, perhaps close to $10 million.

The Pick 6 is elusive and can be expensive, but the 20-cent wager allows multiple stabs at the top prize for a reasonable investment. Hitting six races in a row is quite difficult.

But if a bettor can “single” one or two races, hitting that race with only entry, it opens the possibility for multiple entries on other races. It can even hit an “all” ticket, which means picking every horse in the race, on occasion.

Horse betting trends for NJ sports betting fans

Gulfstream, especially on weekends, has delivered major upsets in the opening race. S

Sunday was no exception with the $1 superfecta paying $8,384. The even-money favorite faltered in the stretch and the winning odds were, in order, 9-1, 7-2, 45-1 and 80-1.

Look impossible to get? Improbable sure, but “keying” the 7-2 shot, putting him in the first and second positions with a string of longshots, could have brought home the payday.

Keep your eyes on these horse betting favorites

Edgar Prado closed to within one win of pulling even with fellow Hall of Famer Angel Cordero in races-won when he guided The Queens Jules to victory in Sunday’s Race 9. Cordero is eighth all-time among jockeys with 7,057 victories.

Trainer Christophe Clement moved to within two wins of the 2,000-win milestone, notching a victory with Just for One Day in Race 2.

Joel Rosario enjoyed a victorious return to Gulfstream with a pair of winners, scoring aboard Just for One Day in Race 2 and Dominate Themoment ($18) in Race 5.

Joe Bravo doubled aboard Pleasant Orb in Race 4 and Special Liaison, at 12-1,  in Race 6.

Fresh off his record-tying seven-win day Saturday, Paco Lopez rode a pair of winners, scoring aboard Noble Hope in Race 3 and Charlie the Greek in Race 7.

Here are some useful handicapping points for Gulfstream Park.

Gulfstream Park preview

Before horse betting on 4NJBets.com and TVG, pay attention to the jockeys.

Jockey selection is one form of handicapping because the top riders are often aligned with the top trainers and barns. These jockeys have been difference-makers and their expertise is worth perhaps a couple of lengths in a horse’s performance.

Irad Ortiz all but wrapped up the riding crown heading into the last week. He has also been the money leader, earning more than $5.8 million for his connections. But on Friday he said he would stop racing for the time being because of the virus.

Luis Saez has been a strong second with $3.49 million.

Lopez has been a sentimental favorite for his aggressive riding style and delivery of longshots to the winning circle.

Paco has cleared the $3 million mark in this meet.

Any good jockey can ride a top mount. Paco, however, has done an excellent job with longshots. He seems to know the exact moment to shoot through a hole and when to time his run.

Tyler Gaffalione has been rock solid, surpassing $3.3 million in earnings.

Emisael Jaramillo is the fifth-leading jockey at just above $2.1 million.

Trainers with substantial respect from bettors include:

  • Todd Pletcher
  • Michael Maker
  • Chad Brown

Kenneth Ramsey is the leading showcased owner, with 58% of his starters finishing first, second or third.

Coronavirus health crisis keeping horses at home

NJ casino and gambling news has come on both sides of the spectrum in recent weeks.

The Dubai Cup postponement is a surprise. The announcement unfolded close to the race date and after officials kept insisting it would run without spectators.

It is likely that travel difficulties, along with concern over the virus, prompted the late decision.

A number of American jockeys declined to make the trip, citing the two-week quarantine before being able to ride again in the United States.

The top trainer Aidan O’Brien and his son, Joseph, also declined to bring their invited horses from Ireland.

With a stay-at-home order issued across much of the nation and casinos closed in NJ, it’s no wonder we are seeing more and more races cancel.

Dave Bontempo

About

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and IGaming Player, among others.