Saratoga Race Course Notes

September 6, 2021

Max Player records 102 Beyer for G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup score; will train up to Breeders’ Cup

Mott has high praise for War Like Goddess; Baby Yoda registers 114 BSF; Forza Di Oro may target G1 Woodward

Happy Saver to train up to G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic; Annapolis points to G2 Pilgrim; Wit and Power Agenda set for G1 Hopeful

Cilla’s G2 Prioress win a team effort between trainers as Baker continues strong meet

G1 Hollywood Derby possible for Public Sector

Kevin’s Folly stepping up in G1 Hopeful; G1-winner No Parole posts a bullet breeze

Cross Country Pick 5 pays $3,774; registers total pool of $53K

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – After garnering his first Grade 1 conquest in Saturday’s $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Saratoga Race Course, George E. Hall and Sport BLX Thoroughbreds’ Max Player will train up to the Grade 1, $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on November 6 at Del Mar, Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen said.

The victory was a second consecutive graded stakes win at 10 furlongs for Max Player, who earned a career-best 102 Beyer Speed Figure for the win. He previously defeated Group 1 Dubai World Cup winner Mystic Guide in the Grade 2 Suburban on July 3 over a sloppy and sealed track at Belmont Park. Ricardo Santana, Jr. piloted the 4-year-old for both races.

Asmussen said Max Player has shown considerable physical improvement from his sophomore season, where he finished third to Tiz the Law in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes and Grade 1 Runhappy Travers.

“Max Player is better than he’s ever been and physically he’s developed into this. His next race will be the Breeders’ Cup Classic,” Asmussen said. “There’s more of him. He’s a horse that’s continued to grow, fill out and mature. There’s a lot more of Max Player as a 4-year-old than there was as a 3-year-old. He’s bigger and stronger.”

The last time Del Mar hosted the Breeders’ Cup in 2017, Asmussen won the Classic with subsequent Horse of the Year Gun Runner. In preparation for this year’s Breeders’ Cup, Asmussen said he plans on shipping Max Player to California early to prepare for his next engagement.

“We just want to acclimate them to West Coast time,” Asmussen said. “For previous Breeders’ Cups in California, we like to get out there and be on pacific coast time and I think we’ve gotten solid runs doing that, so we’re planning on doing the same this time. Last time the Breeders’ Cup was at Del Mar, we had Gun Runner. He went out and trained at Santa Anita before going to Del Mar.”

Asmussen found the winner’s circle in four of the last six editions of the Breeders’ Cup hosted in California, winning with Mitole [2019 Sprint at Santa Anita], Gun Runner [2017 Classic at Del Mar], Untapable [2014 Distaff at Santa Anita] and Tapizar [2012 Dirt Mile at Santa Anita].

Co-owner George E. Hall said he was equally delighted to see his horse secure a Grade 1 victory.

“You have to give all the credit to Steve and Ricardo,” Hall said at the Asmussen barn on Sunday morning. “I think having Ricardo on him consistently now; he knows the horse and Steve knows what instructions to give him. He just has to stay with the pace. He can’t get so far behind and have too much ground to make up.”

Hall echoed similar sentiments to Asmussen in terms of Max Player’s physical development from age three to four.

“You look at his record, he didn’t have a lot of wins, but there was no shame in losing to Tiz the Law and Authentic,” Hall said. “Those were great horses. He’s still maturing as a 4-year-old and we’re pretty excited about his prospects.”

A three-time Grade 1-winner this meet, Asmussen could add to his ledger with Echo Zulu in the Grade 1 Spinaway as well as Gunite in the Grade 1 Hopeful on Closing Day Monday.

A 2-year-old son of Gun Runner, Gunite was a last out second in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special on August 14.

“He’s run faster in every one of his races and I expect that to continue,” Asmussen said.

***

Mott has high praise for War Like Goddess; Baby Yoda registers 114 BSF; Forza Di Oro may target G1 Woodward

George Krikorian’s War Like Goddess ran her win streak to four with a 2 1/4-length score in Saturday’s Grade 1, $600,000 Flower Bowl, an 11-furlong inner turf test for older fillies and mares at Saratoga.

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott said he was pleased with the effort in which the 4-year-old English Channel bay stalked from fourth before closing six-wide to secure the win under Julien Leparoux.

“I thought it was a very good effort. When she’s going to the front, it’s like poetry in motion,” Mott said.

War Like Goddess, a $30,000 purchase at the OBS June 2019 2-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age Sale, has won 6-of-7 starts. She entered from a trio of graded scores under Leparoux, comprising the 11-furlong Grade 3 Orchid in March at Gulfstream, the 12-furlong Grade 3 Bewitch in April at Keeneland, and the 12-furlong Grade 2 Glens Falls on August 7 over the Spa inner turf.

While most of her previous efforts have come from further off the pace, War Like Goddess was in closer attendance on Saturday. Mott said he didn’t provide any specific instructions.

“I wanted her to be wherever the jockey thought she was comfortable,” Mott said. “She ran well. There’s only so much you can say about it. She’s a winner.”

In victory, War Like Goddess secured a “Win and You’re In” berth to the 11-furlong Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf in November at Del Mar.

Don Alberto Stable’s Forza Di Oro, a 4-year-old Speightstown chestnut, set the pace in Saturday’s Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup before fading to third.

“He ran a good race. No excuse,” Mott said.

The lightly-raced homebred, who won the Grade 3 Discovery in November at Aqueduct, was making just his second start of the year out of a winning nine-furlong effort at Saratoga on July 21.

Mott said the nine-furlong Grade 1, $500,000 Woodward on October 2 at Belmont Park is a possible target.

“He hasn’t had many races, so I wouldn’t be opposed to running him,” Mott said.

Forza Di Oro boasts a record of 7-4-1-1 with purse earnings of $309,375.

Wachtel Stable, Pantofel Stable and Jerold Zaro’s Baby Yoda garnered a 114 Beyer for an impressive 4 1/4-length score Saturday over well-regarded stablemate Olympiad, a $700,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase who bested eventual graded-stakes placed Caddo River and eventual multiple graded stakes winner Greatest Honour at Saratoga last September.

With Jose Ortiz up, Baby Yoda settled in second position as Ducale set splits of 21.54 and 44.08 in the 6 1/2-furlong allowance sprint. Baby Yoda pressed into contention from the three-path in the turn and took command at the quarter pole en route to a swift win in 1:14.33 under a hand ride.

Mott said the effort was an eye-opener.

“I was pretty amazed, really. I was pretty impressed with his effort. I can honestly say, I didn’t expect that, but I was pleased to see it,” Mott said. “It was exciting, actually, because I thought there was a pretty good horse in there that he beat that ran second.”

Olympiad garnered a 105 Beyer, besting Ducale by six lengths to complete the exacta.

Bred in Florida by Kathleen Amaya, Alexandro Centofanti and Raffaele Centofanti, Baby Yoda won on debut for his former trainer, Charles Frock, in a $10,000 maiden-claiming sprint on May 30 at Pimlico.

Baby Yoda was purchased privately following a third-place finish in an optional-claiming sprint in June at Pimlico and transferred to Mott, who saddled the dark bay to a 1 1/4-length starter allowance win against older horses on July 17 traveling six furlongs at the Spa.

Mott said he has not picked out a target yet for Baby Yoda and was not ready to make a statement on whether the 3-year-old Prospective gelding might suit a race like the six-furlong Grade 2, $250,000 Vosburgh on October 9 at Belmont, or attempt to stretch out.

“I’m not guessing that right now. He looks pretty fast. It’s a little too soon to think about it,” Mott said.

The Hall of Fame trainer didn’t have to guess at the speedster’s namesake, a character from the Star Wars Disney+ original television series The Mandalorian.

“I had to google Baby Yoda to figure out who he was,” Mott admitted.

Mott will saddle LRE Racing and JEH Racing Stable’s High Oak in Monday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Hopeful, a seven-furlong sprint for juveniles on Closing Day of the 40-day Spa summer meet.

The Gormley bay graduated on debut in June at Belmont and followed with a 4 1/4-length score in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special presented by Miller Lite on August 14.

While Mott was initially pointing High Oak to the Grade 1, $500,000 Champagne, a one-turn mile on October 2 at Belmont, the veteran conditioner said he was training too well to skip Monday’s test.

“He’s feeling really good and I just felt that rather than train him, we’d run him,” Mott said.

High Oak blew out three-eighths in 35.44 seconds Friday on the Oklahoma dirt training track. The $70,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase will exit post 8 under Junior Alvarado.

***

Happy Saver to train up to G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic; Annapolis points to G2 Pilgrim; Wit and Power Agenda set for G1 Hopeful

Wertheimer and Frere homebred Happy Saver, trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, settled for second while trying to defend his title in Saturday’s Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Saratoga.

The 4-year-old Super Saver chestnut, piloted by Irad Ortiz, Jr., saved ground while tracking a moderate pace from third position. Ortiz, Jr. angled the colt into the four-path for the stretch run but the more forwardly placed Max Player was already on his way to a four-length score when Happy Saver got clear.

“There wasn’t a lot of pace and he was sort of bottled up. He was wanting to advance but didn’t really get the opportunity until it was too late. The winner was very good and he got the jump on him,” Pletcher said. “I was happy with his performance and he closed well, which is probably a little better suited to a race where there’s more pace and everybody spreads out a little more. He got a good trip but it was behind the wrong pace scenario. He came back in good shape.”

Pletcher said Happy Saver will now train up to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic in November at Del Mar.

Bass Racing’s 2-year-old War Front homebred Annapolis rallied from eighth to win a 1 1/16-mile turf maiden special weight by 4 1/2-lengths in Saturday’s sixth race at the Spa under Ortiz, Jr.

“I was very pleased with him. He trained well into it and delivered the type of performance we were hoping for,” Pletcher said. “The race was slow to develop and the early fractions weren’t really fast, but I liked the way he picked it up around the turn. He finished strongly and galloped out well.”

Pletcher said Annapolis, who earned a 76 Beyer, is likely to point to the Grade 2, $200,000 Pilgrim, a 1 1/16-mile turf test on October 3 at Belmont.

“I’d say the Pilgrim is probably the most likely next target. He seemed to come out of it in good order,” Pletcher said.

The well-bred colt is out of the Pletcher-trained My Miss Sophia, who won the 2014 Grade 2 Gazelle at the Big A en route to a runner-up effort in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks. My Miss Sophia took to turf in her 4-year-old season, winning an optional-claiming event on the Belmont grass ahead of series of graded attempts that included third-place finishes in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa at Saratoga and Grade 1 First Lady at Keeneland.

Pletcher said Annapolis could try dirt later in his development.

“At this stage, he’s shown us he’s a little better on the turf, but he’s a big, strong colt,” Pletcher said. “Obviously the mare was second in the Kentucky Oaks, but sometimes these type of horses, as they mature, they get better on the dirt, but for now we’ll stay focused on the turf.”

Repole Stable’s Never Surprised set a steady pace in Saturday’s Grade 3 Saranac, but settled for second after being collared in the final jumps by Public Sector. The Constitution bay entered the 1 1/16-mile event off a more than seven-month layoff from a runner-up effort in the one-mile Grade 3 Kitten’s Joy in January at Gulfstream Park.

“He ran well. He was just a little keen early,” Pletcher said. “I was proud of him for fighting on. When things got tough, he kept fighting to the wire. With the layoff and being a little bit keen, I think it compromised his chances a little bit.

“Even before the layoff, he’s been one that’s wanted to pull a bit early,” Pletcher added. “If we can talk him out of that, I think it will improve his chances of stretching out.”

Never Surprised made his first two starts in November on the Big A turf, graduating on debut sprinting six furlongs ahead of a score in the 1 1/16-mile Central Park.

Pletcher said he had initially considered the six-furlong Allied Forces on September 17 at Belmont before deciding to keep the colt at two turns. The veteran conditioner said the nine-furlong Grade 2, $400,000 Hill Prince on October 23 at Belmont would be under consideration if Never Surprised trains well.

“He did break his maiden at six and we were debating between the Allied Forces and the Saranac coming back, but we just felt like we’d give him the opportunity to keep him stretched out. We won’t rule out the Hill Prince just yet,” Pletcher said.

Pletcher will saddle a pair of strong contenders in Wit and Power Agenda in Monday’s 117th renewal of the Grade 1, $300,000 Hopeful, a seven-furlong sprint for juveniles.

Repole Stable, St. Elias Stable, and Gainesway Stable’s Wit, by 2016 Hopeful-winner Practical Joke and out of the Medaglia d’Oro mare Numero d’Oro, is perfect through two starts. Wit posted a six-length maiden win sprinting 5 1/2-furlongs at Belmont in June ahead of an eight-length score in the six-furlong Grade 3 Sanford on July 17.

“Wit is doing great. He’s been pointing for this since the Sanford and except for having to make some minor adjustments around the rain, everything has gone according to plan. We’re looking forward to getting him going again,” Pletcher said.

A $575,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, will exit post 6 under Ortiz, Jr. in a field of 11.

“He’s not real quick from the gate but he’s got enough tactical speed to put himself in a good position,” Pletcher said. “He’s got a really strong turn of foot. It will be up to Irad to work out a trip and time his move.”

Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s Power Agenda, by Nyquist and out of the Afleet Alex mare Dream Dance, prevailed by a nose in a gutsy gate-to-wire debut win sprinting six furlongs on August 14 at the Spa.

“The two of them complement each other’s style. Power Agenda is a speedier sort and I’d imagine he’d be up close,” Pletcher said. “I thought he was courageous in his debut. It looked like he was headed and he fought back. He’s done everything right so far.”

Power Agenda, a $120,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale acquisition, will exit post 10 under Manny Franco.

***

Cilla’s G2 Prioress win a team effort between trainers as Baker continues strong meet

Standing outside his barn on Saratoga’s Oklahoma training track side Sunday morning, trainer Charlton Baker said how much he enjoys training at the Spa but will have to return to Belmont Park once the 40-day summer meet concludes tomorrow.

Baker’s affinity for Saratoga is well founded, as the conditioner was one of just 12 trainers to register at least eight wins during the prestigious meet entering Sunday action, carrying an 8-2-2 record with 26 starters into the day.

On Saturday, Baker was credited with his third career graded stakes win and first since 2016 when P. Dale Ladner’s Cilla bested favorite Souper Sensational by a half-length to win the Grade 2, $250,000 Prioress for sophomore fillies sprinting six furlongs. The win was a technicality for Baker, who saddled the Louisiana bred for trainer Brett Brinkman, who did not take out a license in New York but was on hand to witness the victory that earned Cilla an 88 Beyer.

While Brinkman remains Cilla’s trainer, Baker is the conditioner of record, officially tallying his first graded stakes score since Joking won the 2016 Grade 1 Vosburgh and Grade 2 True North. A connection with former Baker employee Lisa Whitaker, who now works for Brinkman, helped facilitate what turned out to be a winning move for all involved.

“That was impressive. She’s a very nice-looking filly to start with and she looks like she has come class to her, and it was nice to see her come in and get the win for them,” Baker said. “One of my old employees works for him, so Brett called him a couple of weeks ago about it. He wanted to come but wasn’t sure what to do, so we talked about it and handled it that way.

“I get credited with it, but that’s all it is,” Baker added with a laugh. “But Brett did the work.”

Baker has also enjoyed Saratoga success with his own stock, highlighted by Happy Face Racing Stable’s Gold Panda, who improved to 2-for-2 at the meet after registering a 2 1/4-length score in a seven-furlong allowance contest on September 3 over the Saratoga main track.

The 3-year-old Goldencents gelding did not make his debut until July when running third in a 6 1/2-furlong sprint at Belmont. Gold Panda followed with a maiden-breaking 5 1/2-length win on August 19 over a sloppy and sealed Spa track before winning his second consecutive start and garnering an 88 Beyer for his Friday victory over a fast track.

“He’s getting better every start. We figured we’d give him a little bit of time before his next race and go from there. He’s definitely developing,” said Baker, who said his next start will likely be a two-other-than at Belmont. “Eventually, if he keeps on progressing, I think he’s headed to [stakes] company. He has the mind to do it and the ability. He can be a nice horse.”

Gold Panda, a $65,000 purchase at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-Bred Yearling Sale, was bred in the Empire State by T/C Stable. Baker said the patience in not racing him as a juvenile has paid off as Gold Panda continues to progress.

“He just needed to mature. As a 2-year-old, we wasn’t ready to go. We gave him some time and let him mature and brought him back this year and he’s got better and better,” Baker said. “He ran a good race the first time out and then he came back and won. He learned from the first and I think he’s just going to go forward from there.”

***

G1 Hollywood Derby possible for Public Sector

Trainer Chad Brown expressed a strong sense of satisfaction with Klaravich Stables’ Public Sector, who secured a second graded stakes victory this meet when capturing the Grade 3 Saranac at 1 1/16 miles over the inner turf at Saratoga.

Prior to winning Saturday’s Saranac by one length, Public Sector scored by the same margin in the one-mile Grade 2 Hall of Fame on August 6 at the Spa.

“He came out of it in good shape. He continues to develop,” Brown said. “To win two stakes at the meet for a 3-year-old is impressive. I’m very pleased with how far this horse has come along this year.”

Brown also saddled Technical Analysis, a fellow Klaravich Stables color-bearer, to dual graded stakes victories this meet in capturing the Grade 3 Lake George on July 23 and the Grade 2 Lake Placid on August 21.

“Winning two stakes at Saratoga is hard to do. They both have developed as well as they could,” Brown said.

With the Saranac in the rearview mirror, Brown said he will now likely point Public Sector toward the nine-furlong Grade 1, $400,000 Hollywood Derby on November 27 at Del Mar.

“I’ve had a lot of horses that at four have stretched out effectively,” Brown said. “These horses look like horses that will. How far and when I’m not sure, but we’ll slowly get them out a little further over time.”

Both Public Sector and Technical Analysis are by 2014 Cartier Horse of the Year Kingman, whose three stakes winners this meet were all conditioned by Brown.

“Luckily, we were in on the first crop, we believed in the horse. We thought he had tremendous potential. Of course, not knowing what a first crop will do, but he’s really developed into one of the top sires in the world,” Brown said. “We’ve been buying along each crop and supporting the horse. We believe in him and hopefully, we’ll be able to still get our hands on some. They are really straightforward and honest horses to train, they should a great turn of foot in the mornings. They’re sound horses.”

Brown also has the Hollywood Derby in mind for Peter Brant’s Sifting Sands, who won the Better Talk Now on August 29 at one mile over the inner turf.

“I think it’s a race that will fit him later in the year,” Brown said. “I plan on running him [and Public Sector] one time beforehand. He’s a well-bred and well-meant horse and if he can target that, it’s an important race that could make him a stallion at some point.”

Brown visited the winner’s circle on Friday with Shadwell Stable’s Emaraaty, who picked up a fourth lifetime win, besting an allowance optional claiming field on September 3 going one mile over the inner turf. The son of Dubawi arose from a five-month respite to produce a 95 Beyer. He ran the same figure in his first start for Brown in July 2019, which came off a year-long layoff.

“He’s been a little frustrating to keep in a normal training routine of racing and he’s a difficult horse to train, but I was really proud of how he ran the other day,” Brown said. “He’s back in form now. He’s got some age on him now, but he showed he can still do it. I’m hoping to get in a stake next time, but I’m not sure where.”

On Saturday, Brown saddled Pipeline to a maiden special weight triumph at fourth asking. Owned by John D. Gunther and Eurowest Bloodstock, the sophomore son of Speightstown cut back to seven furlongs on the main track after finishing a close second going nine furlongs on July 28, coming up a head shy of victory to next-out winner Vindictive.

Brown said adding blinkers to Pipeline has made all the difference.

“He’s been one of my real pleasant surprises of the summer. We liked him, he trained really well but ran not too good in his first two starts. I was sort of lost with him,” Brown said. “Thankfully, we put some blinkers on him and he did a turnaround. With a little bit of racing experience in blinkers, he way exceeded my expectations from his first two races and what I was starting to think about him. He’s an example of turning a second into a win later. He obviously got beat by a really good horse [Vindictive] who came back and won. I’m happy to have a nice late-blooming 3-year-old dirt horse going into the fall when some of these other horses might be tired now.”

***

Kevin’s Folly stepping up in G1 Hopeful; G1-winner No Parole posts a bullet breeze

Trainer Tom Amoss will saddle Michael McLoughlin’s Kevin’s Folly in Monday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Hopeful.

The Distorted Humor colt, an $80,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, registered a 69 Beyer in his winning debut sprinting 5 1/2-furlongs on July 31 at Saratoga.

With Tyler Gaffalione up, Kevin’s Folly was in fifth position at the half-mile call before cutting the corner and powering home to a 1 1/2-length score in a field of six.

Amoss said the horse was training too well to wait on a two-turn race later in the fall.

“I know I’m asking a lot of him, but the timing is so poor to save him for the middle of the month for Churchill going two turns off that one race,” Amoss said. “We always thought he was talented. What I liked about him on debut is that he rated, he took dirt and he came through on the inside through a very small opening, so he was very professional. He galloped out well. I saw a lot to like about him off his debut.”

Amoss said he is hopeful that Kevin’s Folly will be able to work out a trip when exiting post 9 under Jose Lezcano in a race led by graded-stakes winners Wit and High Oak.

“He’s shown he’ll rate and sit behind horses, so both those things are plusses, but I have nothing but the ultimate respect for Wit and High Oak. This is a very good race,” Amoss said.

Joel Politi’s Li’l Tootsie closed to finish third in Saturday’s Grade 2 Prioress, a six-furlong sprint for sophomore fillies at the Spa.

Amoss said he was pleased to see the Tapiture bay, a three-time winner in nine starts, pick up graded black type.

“That’s what we were hoping for. She ran well,” Amoss said.

Maggi Moss and Greg Tramontin’s graded-stakes winner No Parole posted a bullet half-mile in 47.21 Saturday on the Saratoga main track.

The 4-year-old Louisiana-bred son of Violence won the Grade 1 Woody Stephens last year at Belmont Park. He has made three starts this season, including a win in the LA Bred Premier Sprint in February at Delta Downs. 

Amoss said No Parole, who finished seventh last out in the Grade 3 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap in April at Oaklawn, is working his way back to race fitness having breezed four times at Saratoga.

“He’s coming back off a layoff. He should be ready by the end of the month to find a race. I’d like to get him back into form and make him a stallion in Louisiana,” Amoss said.

Out of the stakes-winning Bluegrass Cat mare Plus One, No Parole was purchased for $75,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. His third dam, Star Deputy, produced multiple graded stakes winning millionaire License Fee.

***

Cross Country Pick 5 pays $3,774; registers total pool of $53K

Saturday’s Cross Country Pick 5 featuring action from four tracks paid $3,774.50 for selecting all five winners for the 50-cent wager. The total pool was $53,291 for the sequence that included races from Monmouth Park, Woodbine Racetrack, Ellis Park and historic Saratoga Race Course.

Monmouth, located in Oceanport, New Jersey, kicked things off when Dream About Me defeated favorite Endless Front by a half-length in a 1 1/16-mile maiden turf contest for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up in Race 8. Trainer by Jimmy Toner and ridden by Isaac Castillo, Dream About Me rallied from seventh to complete the course in a final time of 1:45.48. She paid $13.20 on a $2 win wager.

Woodbine’s Race 7 saw Hazelbrook record a 1 3/4-length win under Jason Hoyte in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden claiming contest for fillies and mares 3-and-up on the all-weather track. Hazelbrook, conditioned by Lorne Richards, paid $5 as she posted a final time of 1:16.42 at the Rexdale, Ontario-based course.

Action switched back to Monmouth for the wager’s biggest upset when Trilogy edged Strong Breeze by a head to win a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint for 3-years-old and up at 18-1 odds for trainer Ronald Abrams. Trilogy, piloted by Nik Juarez, returned $39.40. The Northern Afleet gelding posted a final time of 1:05.73.

Ellis Park was the site of the lone favorite to post a victory when Amiche won by 1 1/2 lengths in a one-mile turf maiden race for fillies and mares 3-and-up in Race 8. Trained by Cherie DeVaux and ridden by Brian Hernandez, Jr., Amiche went gate-to-wire in clocking in at 1:35.06 at the track in Henderson, Kentucky. She paid $3.60.

Baby Yoda closed the sequence at the Spa with an impressive 4 1/4-length win in a 6 1/2 furlong main track allowance sprint in Race 10. Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Baby Yoda, under Jose Ortiz, surged to the wire in 1:14.33, returning $14.40. Baby Yoda earned a 114 Beyer Speed Figure for the win.

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.

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