By Mary Eddy – NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, featuring action from Aqueduct Racetrack and Oaklawn Park.
The Cross Country Pick 5 requires bettors to pick the winner of five select races from tracks across the country. The minimum bet for the multi-track, multi-race wager is 50 cents. Wagering on the Cross Country Pick 5 is available on ADW platforms and at simulcast facilities across the country with each week featuring a mandatory payout of the net pool. The Cross Country Pick 5, boasting a low 15 percent takeout, offers sequences with races from Aqueduct Racetrack and partner tracks across the country.
The first three legs of the sequence will feature a trio of starter races from Aqueduct, beginning with the $65,000 Peeping Tom in Race 8 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. A total of six starter events are slated for Saturday’s card for horses who have started for a specified claiming price in 2022 and 2023. The Peeping Tom, a 6 1/2-furlong sprint for older horses, will see owner and trainer David Jacobson’s O’Trouble attempt to notch his fourth consecutive victory after winning a $40,000 claimer by 5 3/4 lengths on February 9 and a pair of six-furlong contests in January.
Trainer Marcelo Arenas’ Royal Tryst will look to start a streak of his own on the heels of a gutsy first-level allowance score on March 4 while the Michelle Giangiulio-trained Ragtime Blues enters from a February 13 victory that produced a 94 Beyer Speed Figure.
The $75,000 Sis City, a one-turn mile for older fillies and mares, follows in Race 9 [5:32 p.m.] as the multiple stakes-placed Know It All Audrey vies to return to winning form for trainer Oscar Barrera, III. Know It All Audrey was last seen finishing second in the Biogio’s Rose on March 12 at the Big A, two starts after a pacesetting two-length victory in a state-bred optional claimer on January 19. Barrera, III will also send out Dame Cinco for a chance to double up on victories after a narrow score last out for a $32,000 tag on March 10.
Barrera, III’s contenders will face a group of strong challengers that includes Chaysenbryn, a last-out winner by 4 1/4 lengths for conditioner Rudy Rodriguez, and the Dennis Lalman-trained Mosienko, who won four consecutive races last year from August to October.
The middle leg will feature a seasoned group of 11 contest at one mile in the $60,000 More to Tell for older horses. The Linda Rice-trained Winter Pool is in search of his second win since being haltered for $32,000 by his connections in November. The son of Curlin crossed the finish line 5 1/2 lengths in front last out on January 7, but was later disqualified and placed seventh.
The Chris Englehart-trained Hammerin Aamer finished a close third in his last outing and was a 4 1/4-length winner two starts back. The veteran son of Jump Start will look to earn his 14th lifetime victory while the 5-year-old Peter Walder trainee Black Belt drops in from stakes company in hopes of a return to winning ways.
The action heads south to Oaklawn Park for the final two legs, beginning with the $150,000 Purple Martin in Race 10 [6:25 p.m.], a six-furlong sprint for sophomore fillies. A short but talented field includes the streaking Klassy Bridgette, who arrives with a three-race win streak dating back to December 22 for trainer Chris Hartman. The Army Mule filly broke her maiden at third asking before an open-lengths optional claiming victory and a determined triumph in her stakes debut last out in the Dixie Belle on February 11.
Socially Selective makes her first start since an eye-catching debut romp in August at Saratoga Race Course. The Speightster chestnut, trained by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, was a pacesetting winner sprinting six furlongs under Jose Lezcano. She drew away to an easy 7 1/2-length win, receiving an 82 Beyer for the effort. Other contenders include Topsy, who is undefeated through two starts for Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, and stakes winners Key of Life and Izatiz.
The final leg will see a field of 12 sophomore sprinters in a six-furlong restricted maiden special weight to close out the card at the Hot Springs oval. Asmussen will send out two contenders in the New York-bred Bad Larry and stakes-placed Ryvit. Bad Larry, a son of Collected bred by McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, makes his career debut off a series of strong works, including a half-mile bullet from the gate in 47.60 seconds on March 1 at Louisiana Downs. Ryvit, a Competitive Edge bay, finished third in the Kentucky Juvenile in May at Churchill Downs and was last seen finishing sixth in his first start off an eight-month respite.
Conditioner Mike Maker brings another formidable first-time starter in Hey Eugene, who has five bullet works since January at Churchill Training. He covered five furlongs in 1:00.20 on March 13, the fastest of 17 works that day for that distance.
Free Equibase past performances for the Cross Country Pick 5 sequence will be available for download at https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/cross-country-wagers.
Cross Country Pick 5 – Saturday, March 25
Leg A: Aqueduct Racetrack, Race 8 – $65K Peeping Tom (5:00 p.m. Eastern)
Leg B: Aqueduct Racetrack, Race 9 – $75K Sis City (5:32 p.m.)
Leg C: Aqueduct Racetrack, Race 10 – $60K More to Tell (6:04 p.m.)
Leg D: Oaklawn Park, Race 10 – $150K Purple Martin (6:25 p.m.)
Leg E: Oaklawn Park, Race 11 – maiden special weight (6:56 p.m.)