Sunday’s Cross Country Pick 5 Features Aqueduct, Tampa, and Sunland

March 23, 2023

By Ryan Martin – NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— The New York Racing Association Inc. (NYRA) will host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Sunday, featuring action from Aqueduct Racetrack, Tampa Bay Downs and Sunland Park.

Free Equibase past performances for the Cross Country Pick 5 sequence are now available for download at

The sequence begins in Tampa Bay Downs’ ninth race [4:32 p.m. Eastern], where a field of nine older horses will line up for the six-furlong $110,000 NYRA Bets Sprint. Lea Farms’ Willy Boi, third in last year’s Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga Race Course, will seek his first victory since capturing the Grade 3 Smile Sprint in July 2022 at Gulfstream Park for trainer Jorge Delgado. Stablemate Lightening Larry, winner of last year’s Grade 3 Chick Lang at Pimlico, enters off a third-place finish in the Gulfstream Park Sprint.

Action shifts to the Big A for the second leg, a six-furlong New York-bred allowance for older fillies and mares [Race 8, 5:00 p.m.] Francis Paolangeli’s homebred Royal Currency will try to keep her consistent form afloat for trainer Charlton Baker. The Overanalyze filly has finished on-the-board in her last four starts, including a local maiden win at 11th asking in November. Try It Again will attempt to win second off the claim for trainer Marcelo Arenas. The Bustin Stones filly was a last-out second beaten a neck in an open starter allowance on March 11.

The middle leg will see a field of one dozen, plus one also eligible entrant, assemble for Tampa Bay Downs’ $110,000 Distaff Turf [Race 10, 5:04 p.m.]. Trainer Carlo Vaccarezza will send out dual-surface stakes winner Sweet Dani Girl, who captured the Myrtlewood at Keeneland in October 2021 and the Sunshine Filly and Mare Turf in January at Gulfstream two starts back. MyRacehorse and Spendthrift Farms’ Frosted Oats makes her stakes debut for Hall of Famer Bill Mott. The two-time winning daughter of Frosted will look to make amends following a fifth-place finish as the favorite against optional-claiming company in February at Gulfstream.

For the final two legs, Sunland Park in New Mexico will host qualifiers for both the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby, starting with the $300,000 Sunland Park Oaks [Race 8, 5:41 p.m.] The 1 1/16-mile test offers 50-20-15-10-5 qualifying points towards the Oaks to the top-five finishers. Todd Fincher will send out dual stakes winner Flying Connection, who has been tabbed the 9-5 morning line favorite. The Nyquist bay captured the Island Fashion on February 28 at the New Mexico oval in runaway fashion last out, making every pole a winning one to score by 9 1/4 lengths. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert sends out Doinitthehardway for owners Michael Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman. The Street Sense filly was a nine-length winner of a one-mile March 3 maiden special weight at Santa Anita.

The nine-furlong Grade 3, $600,000 Sunland Derby [Race 10, 6:45 p.m.] offers 50-20-15-10-5 Kentucky Derby points to the top-five finishers and will close the curtain on the sequence. Baffert will send out Michael Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman’s Hard to Figure following a hard-fought second in the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis on February 4 at Santa Anita. Fincher will saddle The Del Mar Group’s Henry Q, who was a last out 14 3/4-length winner of the Mine That Bird Derby on February 28 at Sunland.

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