ELMONT, N.Y.—The Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, featuring graded stakes action from Belmont and Churchill Downs, tallied a total pool of $144,746, paying out $504.25 for selecting all five winners for the 50-cent wager.
Gam’s Mission kicked off the sequence – and stakes competition – with a three-quarter length victory in the Grade 3, $150,000 Regret for 3-year-old fillies in Churchill’s Race 8. Jockey Adam Beschizza tracked Gam’s Mission in fifth position in the 1 1/8-mile turf contest before a strong finish bested the favorite Spanish Loveaffair. Trainer Cherie DeVaux earned her first graded stakes win for the effort. Gam’s Mission completed the course in 1:51.02 and returned $14.20 on a $2 win wager.
Action shifted to Belmont for the second leg, which saw Doubly Blessed defeat favorite Mystic Night by 1 1/2 lengths to win a 1 1/16-mile allowance optional claiming contest in Race 8. Doubly Blessed, trained by Mike Maker and ridden by Luis Saez, recorded a final time of 1:42.53 paying $8 after going off at 3-1.
Churchill, located in Louisville, Kentucky, continued with its strong Saturday card, as Fulsome won the third leg with a 3 3/4-length definitive score in the Grade 3, $150,000 Matt Winn for 3-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the main track in Race 9. The first favorite to win in Saturday’s Cross Country Pick 5 rallied from seventh at the half-mile mark, hitting the wire in 1:42.88 under jockey Florent Geroux. The Brad Cox trainee paid $5.40.
Another favorite won Belmont’s featured race, as Sainthood, whose previous start was an 11th-place effort in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, thrived in the Grade 2, $200,000 Pennine Ridge that was moved off the turf in Race 9.
Heavy rains turned the Pennine Ridge into a one-turn 1 1/8-mile main track contest over a sloppy and sealed track, with Sainthood fending off The Reds in the stretch to win by one length against a pared-down five-horse field.
Sainthood, trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher and ridden by Joel Rosario, paid $3.80 as the 4-5 favorite with a final time of 1:50.57.
Bango posted a half-length win in the $150,000 Aristides for 4-year-olds and up sprinting six furlongs on Churchill’s main track in Race 10 to close the sequence. Bango, trained by Gregory Foley, notched a final time of 1:09.65, paying $10.60 after going off at 4-1.
The minimum bet for the multi-track, multi-race wager is 50 cents. Wagering on the Cross Country Pick 5 is also available on track, on ADW platforms, and at simulcast facilities across the country. Every week will feature a mandatory payout of the net pool.
The Cross Country Pick 5 will continue each Saturday throughout the year. For more information, visit NYRABets.com.
NYRA Press Office