Special cross-breed Cross Country Pick 5 on tap for Saturday

August 5, 2021

Free Equibase PPs available 

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association Inc. (NYRA) will host an all-stakes cross-breed Cross Country Pick 5 featuring thoroughbred racing from historic Saratoga Race Course and Monmouth Park and standardbred racing from the Meadowlands.

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

Current New York State regulations allow NYRA to accept wagering only on standardbred races that take place in New York. As such, the cross-breed Cross Country Pick 5 will not be available on-track at Saratoga or to NYRA Bets customers located in New York State. The cross-breed Cross Country Pick 5 is available to NYRA Bets, LLC customers outside of New York State.

Saratoga will kick off the sequence in a big way, offering up the Grade 1, $1 million Saratoga Derby Invitational for 3-year-olds going 1 3/16 miles on the Mellon turf course in Race 9 at 5:10 p.m. Eastern. The middle jewel of NYRA’s Turf Triple series drew an accomplished 11-horse field offering some of the top grass sophomores on either side of the Atlantic. 

Internationally acclaimed trainer Aidan O’Brien will send out Bolshoi Ballet, who won the first leg of this series by capturing the 10-furlong Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational in July. Ryan Moore, a three-time champion jockey in his native Great Britain, will return to ride. Cadillac, an Irish-bred son of Lope de Vega, cruised to victory in the one-mile Group 2 Champions Juvenile in September at Leopardstown for trainer Jessica Harrington. On the domestic side, the Kentucky-bred Du Jour, the winner of the 1 1/16-mile Grade 2 American Turf in May at Churchill Downs, will be running for the first time since finishing fourth in the Belmont Derby for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. 

Monmouth, located in Oceanport, New Jersey, will also get in on the stakes action in the second leg as a field of 10 juveniles will compete in the $100,000 Tyro sprinting five furlongs on the turf in Race 12 at 5:26 p.m. Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, who entered Thursday with 9,443 wins as he approaches Dale Baird’s all-time record of 9,445, will send out Vodka N Water, who will be looking for a bit of racing luck after running second in all four of his career starts, including last out in the Grade 3 Bashford Manor at Churchill. Forty Stripes, a first-out winner last month at Monmouth for Hall of Fame conditioner Jerry Hollendorfer, will make his first stakes appearance; and Wesley Ward will saddle a pair of fillies in maiden winner Chi Town Lady and Her World, a first-time starter purchased for $400,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

Harness racing will add a new wrinkle to the Cross Country Pick 5, with the Meadowlands – located in the East Rutherford, New Jersey – hosting the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old fillies in the prestigious race for trotters in Race 14 at 5:32 p.m. Bella Bellini is the 3-1 morning-line favorite. Lady Chaos is the second choice at 7-2. 

The featured race on Saratoga’s loaded five stakes Saturday card will comprise the fourth leg of the wager, with the Grade 1, $1 million Whitney in Race 10 at 5:48 p.m. The 1 1/8-mile contest for older horses drew a talented five-horse field led by 6-5 morning-line favorite Knicks Go, who won last year’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland before capturing the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational to start his 5-year-old year in January at Gulfstream. Knicks Go, conditioned by reigning Eclipse Award-champion trainer Brad Cox, drew post 4. 

Five-time graded stakes-winner Maxfield, listed at 8-5, drew the outside post for trainer Brendan Walsh. Defending Champion 3-Year-Old Filly Swiss Skydiver, who beat the boys in last year’s Grade 1 Preakness, will look for similar success for trainer Kenneth McPeek. Silver State, trained by Asmussen, and By My Standards [Bret Calhoun] will also look to make an impact. 

Standardbreds will close out the Cross Country Pick 5 with the 96th running of the $1 million Hambletonian for trotters in Race 15 at 6:02 p.m. The Hambletonian, one of harness racing’s best-known events, originated in Syracuse in 1926 and has been held at the Meadowlands since 1981. Ake Svanstedt holds a strong hand with 3-1 morning-line favorite Captain Corey and second-choice Delayed Hanover [7-2].

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 will continue each Saturday throughout the year. For more information, visit NYRABets.com.

Cross Country Pick 5 – Saturday, August 7:

Leg A: Saratoga – Race 9, G1 Saratoga Derby Invitational (5:10 p.m.)

Leg B: Monmouth – Race 12, Tyro (5:26 p.m.)

Leg C: Meadowlands – Race 14, Hambletonian Oaks (harness) (5:32 p.m.)

Leg D: Saratoga – Race 10, G1 Whitney (5:48 p.m.)

Leg E: Meadowlands – Race 15, Hambletonian (harness) (6:02 p.m.)

Saratoga Entries Saturday, August 7

Monmouth Entries Saturday, August 7

Meadowlands Entries Saturday, August 7

NYRA/Saratoga Press Release

@PastTheWire Did it again Jon! Stay hot!

Jason Heidl @JasonHeidl View testimonials

Facebook