Stakes action from Belmont Park, Woodbine Racetrack and Churchill Downs comprise Saturday’s Cross Country Pick 5

September 17, 2021

ELMONT, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association Inc. (NYRA) will host an all-stakes Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday featuring action from Belmont Park, Churchill Downs and Woodbine Racetrack.

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 will kick off with a pair of Turf Triple series events from Belmont beginning with the $700,000 Jockey Club Oaks Invitational in Race 9 at 5:14 p.m.

The Jockey Club Oaks, a 1 3/8-mile inner turf test for sophomore fillies, features European invaders Creative Flair and Harajuku taking on five American-based contenders led by the Chad Brown-trained duo of Higher Truth and Shantisara.

The $1 million Jockey Club Derby Invitational [Race 10, 5:45 p.m.] for sophomores at 12 furlongs, features Grade 1-winner Bolshoi Ballet, who captured the Grade 1 Belmont Derby here for trainer Aidan O’Brien in July.

Providing steep opposition in the “Win and You’re In” qualifier to the Grade 1, $4 million Longines Turf in November at Del Mar are recent Group 2-winner Yibir, a Godolphin homebred trained by Charlie Appleby; and Belmont Derby runner-up Tokyo Gold conditioned by Satoshi Kobayashi for owner-breeder Teruya Yoshida.

The middle leg will feature the Grade 1, $1 million Woodbine Mile [Race 10, 6:12 p.m.], contested at one turn on the E. P. Taylor Turf Course and featuring a trio of runners from Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse in March to the Arch, Olympic Runner and Ride a Comet. The Brown-trained Raging Bull, who was placed third in the 2019 Woodbine Mile, will look to add a fourth Grade 1 win to his ledger. The winner will receive a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile.

The sequence will conclude with a pair of 1 1/16-mile Grade 3 events for 2-year-olds from the evening card at Churchill Downs both offering “Win and You’re In” berths to the Breeders’ Cup in November at Del Mar led by the Pocahontas for juvenile fillies in Race 8 at 9:39 p.m.

A talented field includes James McIngvale’s Joyrunner, a Gun Runner chestnut, who is perfect in two starts at Indiana Grand for trainer Laura Wohlers. Hidden Connection, condition by Bret Calhoun, garnered a field-best 84 Beyer Speed Figure in a 7 1/2-length debut romp sprinting 5 1/2-furlongs at Colonial Downs, while the Norm Casse-trained Ontheonesandtwos will look to make amends following an off-the-board effort in the Grade 2 Adirondack at Saratoga.

Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen will saddle a pair of top juveniles in Stellar Tap and Guntown in the Iroquois [Race 9, 10:11 p.m.] to conclude the sequence.

Stellar Tap, a $250,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase by Tapit, romped by 5 1/4-lengths on debut sprinting seven furlongs on August 7 at Saratoga. Guntown, by Gun Runner and purchased for $750,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, graduated at second asking in a one-mile maiden special weight at Ellis Park.

The improving Roger McQueen, by Unified, was a last out winner of the Runhappy Ellis Park Juvenile for trainer Larry Rivelli, garnering a 70 Beyer in the seven-furlong sprint. Roger McQueen was a $530,000 purchase at the OBS March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training. Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher will saddle $420,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase Major General, a dark bay son of Constitution, for his stakes debut following a first-out win sprinting 6 1/2-furlongs in August at the Spa.

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, September 18:

Leg A: Belmont Park-Race 9, Jockey Club Oaks (5:14 p.m.)

Leg B: Belmont Park- Race 10, Jockey Club Derby (5:45 p.m.)

Leg C: Woodbine -Race 10, G1 Woodbine Mile (6:12 p.m.)

Leg D: Churchill -Race 8, G3 Pocahontas (9:39 p.m.)

Leg E: Churchill-Race 9, G3 Iroquois (10:11 p.m.) 

Keith McCalmont/NYRA Press Office

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