Saturday’s all-graded stakes Cross Country Pick 5 to feature racing from Belmont Park, Churchill Downs and Delaware Park

June 29, 2022

ELMONT, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association Inc. (NYRA) will host an all-graded stakes Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, featuring five graded events from Belmont Park, Churchill Downs and Delaware Park.

Free Equibase past performances for the Cross Country Pick 5 sequence are now available for download at https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/cross-country-wagers.

The sequence begins at Belmont Park in Race 4 [2:34 p.m. Eastern] as Grade 1 winners Speaker’s Corner and Life Is Good clash in the Grade 2 John A. Nerud for older horses sprinting seven furlongs over the main track. Speaker’s Corner will look for redemption after a third-place finish to Flightline in the Grade 1 Hill n’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap on June 11.

Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Speaker’s Corner won the Grade 1 Carter Handicap in April, an effort that awarded him a 114 Beyer Speed Figure. Life Is Good will make his first start since a fourth-place finish in the Dubai World Cup in March. Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher will look to secure his third Nerud victory as multiple graded stakes-placed geldings Repo Rocks and War Tocsin look to play spoiler.

Sophomore fillies take center stage in the second leg as the William Morey-trained Shotgun Hottie leads a competitive field of eight in the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks [Race 6, 3 p.m.]. A daughter of Gun Runner, Shotgun Hottie was last seen finishing an even third in the Grade 3 Gazelle in April at Aqueduct Racetrack. She picked up her first stakes victory in her first start for Morey with a gutsy nose triumph in the Ruthless earlier this year.

Steep opposition will be provided by Midnight Stroll, who exits a disappointing ninth-place finish in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan on the Preakness undercard at Pimlico Race Course. The John Terranova trainee previously won the Juvenile Fillies at Tampa Bay Downs in March. Republique, trained by Saffie Joseph, Jr., brings intrigue as she puts her perfect 2-for-2 record on the line in her stakes debut and first start on dirt after prominent scores over the Gulfstream Park synthetic.

The action switches to Churchill Downs for the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis as five talented fillies and mares travel nine furlongs in Race 8 [4:35 p.m.]. Shedaresthedevil, winner of the 2020 Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, is in search of her first win since taking the Grade 3 Locust Grove in September. The Brad Cox trainee finished a close second to returning rival Pauline’s Pearl last out in the Grade 1 La Troienne on May 6.

Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen will hope to see Pauline’s Pearl return to winning ways after a last-out fourth-place finish in the listed Shawnee going 1 1/16 miles on June 4 at Churchill. Trainer Norm Casse will send out Super Quick to try and double up on graded victories after a commanding performance in the Grade 3 Allaire DuPont Distaff on May 20 at Pimlico where she romped by 14 1/4 lengths over Exotic West.

The sequence returns to Belmont Park for the penultimate leg in Race 8 [4:38 p.m.], the Grade 3 Dwyer for sophomores going a one-turn mile. Grade 1-placed Charge It makes his return for trainer Todd Pletcher after a 17th-place finish in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby. He earned his place in the Derby starting gate with a runner-up finish to White Abarrio in the Grade 1 Florida Derby in April at Gulfstream Park.

Recent maiden winner Nabokov will make his stakes debut for conditioner Chad Brown after a comfortable 3 1/4-length maiden score at second asking going 1 1/16 miles over Big Sandy on May 15. The John Terranova-trained Fluid Situation will look to make the grade after finishing fourth in the Gold Fever on May 15 for his first outing against winners.

The final leg sees the action head back to Churchill Downs for Race 10 [5:47 p.m.], the Grade 2 Stephen Foster for older horses going 1 1/8 miles. Brad Cox trainee Mandaloun, who has earned Grade 1 victories in the Kentucky Derby and Haskell via disqualification, will make his first appearance since a distant ninth-place finish in the Group 1 Saudi Cup in February where he was beaten 18 3/4 lengths by Emblem Road. His other start this year was a close three-quarter-length victory over Midnight Bourbon in the Grade 3 Louisiana in January.

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott will send out Olympiad, who streaks in with four consecutive wins that garnered triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures. His latest win was a 2 1/2-length score in the Grade 2 Alysheba on May 6 at Churchill. Also featured are Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap presented by NYRA Bets winner Americanrevolution, Grade 2 winner Last Samurai and Grade 1-placed Caddo River.

The minimum bet for the multi-track, multi-race wager is 50 cents. Wagering on the Cross Country Pick 5 is also available 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, which features a low 15 percent takeout, will continue each Saturday throughout the year.

America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the spring/summer meet at Belmont Park on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/tv-schedule.

NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Belmont Park, and the best way to bet every race of the spring/summer meet. Available to horse players nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.

Cross Country Pick 5 – Saturday, July 2:
Leg A: Belmont Park-Race 4, G2 John A. Nerud (2:34 p.m. Eastern)
Leg B: Delaware Park-Race 6, G3 Delaware Oaks (3 p.m.)
Leg C: Churchill Downs-Race 8, G2 Fleur de Lis (4:35 p.m.)
Leg D: Belmont Park-Race 8, G3 Dwyer (4:38 p.m.)
Leg E: Churchill Downs-Race 10, G2 Stephen Foster (5:47 p.m.)

NYRA Press Release

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