SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association Inc. (NYRA) will host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday featuring two graded races from Saratoga Race Course, along with action from Ellis Park and Monmouth 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 kicks off at Saratoga with the Grade 1, $500,000 Diana [Race 8, 5:03 p.m.], a nine-furlong turf test for older fillies and mares which will see trainer Chad Brown saddle 4-of-6 starters led by the undefeated Bleecker Street. A last-out winner of the 10-furlong Grade 1 New York on June 10 at Belmont, she will face off against multiple graded/group winning stablemates Technical Analysis and Rougir as well as Grade 3-winning pace threat In Italian. Charlie Appleby, who sent out last year’s 1-2 finishers Althiqa and Summer Romance, will be represented by Group 2-winner Creative Flair. Graded-stakes winner Dalika completes a compact, but talented field.
Action then switches to Monmouth Park where a full field of sophomore fillies will sprint 5 1/2-furlongs on the turf in the $100,000 Blue Sparkler [Race 11, 5:05 p.m.] led by the graded-stakes placed Mystic Eyes for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. The Maclean’s Music dark bay finished third in the Grade 3 Matron in October ahead of a neck score in the Stewart Manor one month later at Belmont Park. She will face steep opposition from recent off-the-turf allowance winner Mac the Pee H Dee for trainer Jorge Duarte, Jr.; two-time winner Benbang for conditioner Jonathan Thomas; and Irish-bred Delmona for trainer Jamie Begg.
The middle leg will see an overflow field of sophomores travel nine furlongs in a Saratoga turf allowance [Race 9, 5:39 p.m.] topped by recent maiden winner Fort Ticonderoga for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey. The War Front bay is a half-sibling to grade-stakes winner Doswell and a full-brother to graded-stakes placed Secretary at War. McGaughey also saddles maiden winner Dripping Gold, a full-brother to multiple graded-stakes winning turfer Aurelia’s Belle. Robert Ribaudo will saddle the stakes-placed Daunt, who enters from a close fifth in the Grade 2 Pennine Ridge going nine furlongs at Belmont. Credit Event, a maiden winner for Chad Brown; and Forever Souper, a potential pace presence for Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse, are sure to attract attention.
The penultimate leg from Ellis Park [Race 9, 5:40 p.m.] will offer a field of 10 fillies and mares 3-years-old and up sprinting 5 1/2-furlongs in a turf maiden special weight. A wide-open field is led by 7-2 morning-line favorite Stella Teresa, who enters from a pacesetting second in her turf debut sprinting five furlongs on June 22 at Indiana Grand for trainer Justin Wojczynski. Rather Be Lucky, a 3-year-old Into Mischief bay purchased for $300,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, will try turf for the first time for trainer Al Stall, Jr. Cause Celebre, by Gun Runner, will debut for trainer Steve Margolis. A half-sister to 2018 Bolton Landing winner Stillwater Cove, Cause Celebre is out of the Broken Vow mare, Celibataire, who is a full sister to multiple graded stakes winning turfer Interactif.
Closing out the sequence is the Grade 3, $175,000 Sanford [Race 10, 6:13 p.m.] featuring a field of 12 juveniles sprinting six furlongs over the Spa main track. Leading the way are an impressive pair of Pletcher-trained maiden winners in Forte and Major Dude, who will square off against New York-bred maiden winner Andiamo a Firenze for trainer Kelly Breen. Valenzan Day, third last out in the Tremont for trainer and co-owner Rudy Rodriguez, should have pace to close into if Joel Rosario can work out a trip from the outermost post.
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 16:
Leg A: Saratoga – Race 8, G1 Diana (5:03 p.m. Eastern)
Leg B: Monmouth Park – Race 11, $100K Blue Sparkler (5:05 p.m.)
Leg C: Saratoga – Race 9, allowance (5:39 p.m.)
Leg D: Ellis Park – Race 9, maiden special weight (5:40 p.m.)
Leg E: Saratoga – Race 10, G3 Sanford (6:13 p.m.)
NYRA Press Office
Photo: Cross Country P5 Logo