SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association Inc. (NYRA) will host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, featuring graded stakes action from Saratoga Race Course and racing from Ellis Park.
Free Equibase past performances for the Cross Country Pick 5 sequence are now available for download at https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/cross-country-wagers.
Saturday’s sequence begins in Race 7 from Ellis Park at 4:40 p.m. Eastern with juveniles traveling one mile on the turf in a maiden special weight. Leading the field of 10 is the English Channel colt Anglophile for conditioner Brian Lynch. The chestnut finished third in his second outing, beaten a neck in a three-way photo finish in an off-the-turf maiden at the same distance and track on July 10. Salute the Stars, a first-time starter for trainer John Ortiz, enters from a string of recent works at Ellis, including a bullet half-mile handily from the gate in 47.80 seconds on July 5. Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen will also send out a promising first-time starter in Led Tasso, a son of Ghostzapper who worked a half-mile from the gate in 1:03.60 on July 19 at Churchill Downs.
The action switches to Saratoga for the second leg as six sprinters try for Grade 1 glory in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap. Reigning Champion Male Sprinter Jackie’s Warrior will attempt to add a fifth top-level score to his ledger and keep a perfect 4-for-4 record at Saratoga intact in his fourth start of the year. The son of Maclean’s Music was a last-out winner of the Grade 2 True North on June 10 at Belmont and won the Grade 1 Churchill Downs in May.
Grade 1-placed New York-bred Ny Traffic will look to spring an upset and arrives at the Vanderbilt from two consecutive stakes victories, including against open company last out in the Chocolate Town at Penn National for trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. The field also includes graded stakes-winners Long Range Toddy, trained by Dallas Stewart; and Willy Boi, who enters on a three-race win streak for trainer Jorge Delgado.
The middle leg features a salty group of sophomore fillies taking on a 6 1/2-furlong optional claimer in Race 8 at Ellis Park [5:10 p.m.]. Leading the charge is the Brad Cox-trained Famed, who was last seen finishing an even third in a Churchill allowance on June 18. The Uncle Mo filly was an impressive winner at second asking one start before finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Golden Rod in November at Churchill.
Steep opposition will be provided by debut maiden winner Solar Reign, who posted a 2 1/4-length score sprinting six furlongs at Ellis on July 10 for trainer John Ortiz; and Comedy Act, who graduated at fourth asking by 3 1/2 lengths before finishing third in her first try again winners on June 17.
Action will move back north to Saratoga for the final two legs, starting with the Grade 2 Jim Dandy in Race 9 [5:37 p.m.]. A formidable pair of contenders for four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown will look to add to their accomplishments after each winning a Grade 1 event this spring. Early Voting will be making his first start since a strong victory in the Grade 1 Preakness, while Zandon, winner of the Grade 1 Blue Grass in April, makes his first outing since a game third in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby.
Dual classic-placed Epicenter will be sure to provide a strong challenge as he looks to regroup from runner-up efforts in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness for Asmussen. The son of Not This Time won the Grade 2 Risen Star and Grade 2 Louisiana Derby this spring. Grade 3 Ohio Derby-winner Tawny Port and two-time winner Western River complete the compact but talented field of five sophomores.
Closing out the sequence is Race 10 [6:13 p.m.] from the Spa, a 1 1/16-mile Mellon turf allowance for 3-year-olds and up. The regally-bred Capensis, by Tapit and out of multiple graded stakes-winner Tara’s Tango, will face winners for the first time for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. A $2 million purchase at the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Capensis was a strong debut winner by five lengths going the same distance on July 2 at Belmont Park.
Trainer Mike Maker sends out a pair of last-out winners in Exult, who returns from a 13-month layoff in his first start for Maker; and Ricochet, who won his first outing for Maker by a neck on July 1 at Belmont. Also featured are the stakes-placed Airman in his first outing for conditioner Tom Morley, and three-time winner C Falls for Norm Casse.
Saratoga Live will present daily coverage and analysis of the summer meet at Saratoga Race Course on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/tv-schedule.
NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Saratoga Race Course, and the best way to bet every race of the 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 30:
Leg A: Ellis Park – Race 7, maiden special weight (4:40 p.m. Eastern)
Leg B: Saratoga – Race 8, G1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (4:50 p.m.)
Leg C: Ellis Park – Race 8, allowance optional claiming (5:10 p.m.)
Leg D: Saratoga – Race 9, G2 Jim Dandy (5:37 p.m.)
Leg E: Saratoga – Race 10, allowance (6:13 p.m.)
NYRA Press Release
Photo: Cross Country Pick 5 Logo