ELMONT, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association Inc. (NYRA) will host an all-stakes Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, featuring two Grade 1 races from Belmont Park and three stakes from Horseshoe Indianapolis.
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.
Saturday’s sequence kicks off in Race 7 [4:06 p.m. Eastern] at Belmont Park, the Grade 1, $700,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational for sophomore fillies travelling 10 furlongs over the inner turf. The field of 10 is rich in international flair as five of the contenders make their way to the states from their European yards.
Joseph O’Brien trainee Agartha was a winner of two group events as a juvenile and will look for her first graded win as a sophomore after finishing off-the-board last-out in the Group 1 Irish 1,000 Guineas on May 22 at The Curragh. Other European hopefuls include Group 1-placed Concert Hall for conditioner Aidan O’Brien. Leading the American hopefuls are a trio of Chad Brown trainees in Grade 2-winner Consumer Spending, multiple graded stakes-placed McKulick and Grade 1-placed Haughty.
The Grade 1 action continues in the second leg as 13 sophomores contest at 10 furlongs in the Grade 1, $1 million Caesars Belmont Derby Invitational [Race 9, 5:12]. Another strong set of European contenders will feature in the first leg of the Caesars Turf Triple, led by Nations Pride for trainer Charlie Appleby. The talented son of Teofilo won the listed Newmarket at its namesake track in April ahead of an eighth-place finish in the Group 1 Epsom Derby on June 4.
Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher will be represented by two runners in graded stakes-winners Grand Sonata and Emmanuel. Grand Sonata will look to make amends after a troubled third-place finish last out in Churchill Downs’ Audubon on June 4 while Emmanuel looks to build upon a successful turf debut in the Grade 2 Pennine Ridge on the same day at Belmont.
The action switches to Horseshoe Indianapolis for the final three legs, starting with Race 10 [5:22 p.m.], the Jonathan B. Schuster Memorial for older horses travelling 1 1/16 miles over the turf. The field of 12, plus two also-eligibles, features the return of Grade 1-winner Ivar after seven months away from the races. The son of Agnes Gold was last seen posting a close third-place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile in November at Del Mar. He won the 2020 Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland by a length over Raging Bull.
Also featured is New York-bred millionaire Somelikeithotbrown, a 6-year-old multiple graded-stakes winning son of Big Brown for trainer Mike Maker. He captured the Grade 2 Dinner Party at Pimlico and restricted Mohawk at Belmont last year in a successful 6-2-2-1 campaign that included a strong third in the Grade 1 Keeneland Turf Mile.
Race 11 [6:05 p.m.] will see eight sophomore fillies contest at 1 1/16 miles over the main track in the Grade 3 Indiana Oaks.
Trainer Brad Cox will be represented by a formidable duo with graded stakes-winner Interstatedaydream and two-time winner Patna. Interstatedaydream enters from a strong win in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan on May 20 that came on the heels of a distant third-place finish in the Grade 1 Ashland in April. Patna was last seen taking a first-level allowance by 3 1/4 lengths on June 11 at Churchill Downs and makes her stakes debut. Recent maiden winner Silverleaf and the twice-winning Sixtythreecaliber both look to bring good form to their stakes debuts.
Closing out the sequence in Race 12 [6:40 p.m.] is the Grade 3 Indiana Derby for sophomores at 1 1/16 miles over the main track. Grade 2 Rebel winner Un Ojo makes his return for new trainer Robertino Diodoro after a non-threatening eighth-place finish in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby in April. The son of Laoban was second in the Grade 3 Withers behind subsequent Grade 1 Preakness winner Early Voting en route to his Rebel score. Steep opposition will be provided by the undefeated Best Actor for Brad Cox as he looks to extend his win streak to three-in-a-row after a debut maiden victory and follow-up allowance coup on June 12 at Churchill.
Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen will hope to see King Ottoman make the grade after a determined win in the Texas Derby on May 20.
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 9:
Leg A: Belmont Park-Race 7, G1 Caesars Belmont Derby Inv. (4:06 p.m.)
Leg B: Belmont Park-Race 9, G1 Belmont Oaks Inv. (5:12 p.m.)
Leg C: Horseshoe Indianapolis-Race 10, Schuster Memorial (5:22 p.m.)
Leg D: Horseshoe Indianapolis-Race 11, G3 Indiana Oaks (6:05 p.m.)
Leg E: Horseshoe Indianapolis-Race 12, G3 Indiana Derby (6:40 p.m.)
NYRA Press Release