HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -- Oh, what might have been.
Gulfstream Park's hopes at having the biggest Pick 6 betting pool in North American racing history have been beaten -- by a nose.
A single bettor hit the track's "Rainbow 6" wager for a record $6,678,939.12 on Sunday, thwarting the track's expectations of having perhaps as much as $16 million in the pool for that exotic bet.
"We're disappointed like everyone else that we didn't have the chance to see how high the pool could have gone with a mandatory payout on Monday, but this also proves that you never know when someone will get lucky and hit it," Gulfstream Park President Tim Ritvo said.
Callana won the eighth race -- the sixth and final leg of Sunday's Rainbow 6 wager -- at Gulfstream by a nose in a three-way photo finish. If Callana was just a tiny sliver of a second slower, the pool would have carried over to Monday because multiple players would have had winning tickets.
But Callana got there first, and with that, someone picked up the biggest Rainbow 6 payout in history, nearly doubling the previous mark set in February 2013.
"The bet has always been designed to try to give the smaller guy an opportunity to make a life-changing bet," Ritvo said earlier Sunday, when track officials were bracing for a massive onslaught of players trying to turn 20 cents -- yes, two dimes are the minimum bet -- into millions on Monday.
Instead, Dan Borislow beat them to the punch.
Borislow -- a horse breeder and telecommunications entrepreneur -- bet every horse in the third, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth races, along with two starters in the sixth race. The gamble cost him just over $7,600, and the payoff wound up being nearly 900 times that much.
Not a bad return on investment.
"I've been one of the larger bettors for a period of years," Borislow said. "I guess, probably, I've gotten good at it. I really liked (the sixth race) and I keyed that race and it worked out well."
Entering Sunday's card, there was nearly $6.4 million already in the Rainbow 6 carryover pool, which has been growing since the bet was last hit Jan. 10. Under typical circumstances, not only would a horseplayer have to pick all six winners to claim the pot -- but also have the only ticket with those six winners.
But Monday was not going to be typical.
Gulfstream Park isn't allowed to carry over pools from one racing season to the next, and under Florida law that means the Rainbow 6 would have to be paid out before the state's fiscal year ends next month. So Gulfstream, in response to some customers' requests, applied for permission to make Memorial Day the payout day.
The track will still pay out the full Rainbow 6 pool on Monday. It's just starting from zero, instead of nearly $7 million, and now it's anyone's guess if the buzz about the big day is gone as well.
The record pool for a Pick 6 is $10,870,852.60, a figure reached July 2, 2007, at Hollywood Park. There were 13 winners out of that pool, each getting $576,064.40, and Gulfstream figured to smash that total-purse mark.