NYSSS Times Square closes out all-stakes Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday
by Ryan Martin
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will again host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, featuring five stakes events across five different tracks, to be completed within a one-hour time increment.
Saturday's Cross Country Pick 5 will feature racing action from Aqueduct Racetrack, Oaklawn Park, Charles Town, Woodbine and Keeneland.
Kicking off the sequence is the Grade 3 $125,000 Whimsical [Race 8, 4:51 p.m.] on opening day at Woodbine Racetrack in Etobicoke, Ontario, where Stronach Stables' ultra-consistent Zestina will seek her first graded stakes triumph against five other fillies and mares over the all-weather surface.
The second leg will be Oaklawn Park's $100,000 Rainbow [Race 7, 5:20 p.m.]. Restricted to Arkansas-breds, the six-furlong sprint features a six-horse field including maiden winners Tapit Star and No Debate.
The action then shifts to Lexington, Kentucky for the Grade 3 $250,000 Elkhorn at Keeneland [Race 9, 5:30 p.m.]. The 1 ½-mile test over the turf features six graded stakes winners including Three Diamonds Farms' millionaire Bigger Picture and Zulu Alpha who will seek to notch his third consecutive graded stakes win.
The penultimate leg, the Grade 2 $1 million Charles Town Classic, drew a field of ten older horses plus one also-eligible entrant. The 1 1/8-mile event in West Virginia features defending champion Something Awesome squaring off against last year's Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Discreet Lover. The Charles Town Classic is scheduled to go off at 5:37 p.m.
The Cross Country Pick 5 closes out in the final race of the Big A's spring meet, which will be the $200,000 New York Stallion Stakes Series Times Square [Race 9, 5:48 p.m.] A field of 11 New York-bred sophomores will burst from the gate in the 6 ½ furlong race, including stakes winner Bankit as well as Blindwillie McTell - a winner of two New York-bred stakes at the Big A.
The minimum bet for the multi-track, multi-race wager is 50 cents. Wagering on the Cross Country Pick 5 is also available on track, on ADW platforms, and at simulcast facilities across the country. There will be a mandatory payout of the entire pool.
Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, April 20:
Leg 1: Woodbine - Grade 3 $125,000 Whimsical (Race 7, 4:51 p.m.)
Leg 2: Oaklawn Park - $100K Rainbow (Race 7, 5:20 p.m.)
Leg 3: Keeneland - Grade 2 $250K Elkhorn (Race 9, 5:30 p.m.)
Leg 4: Charles Town - Grade 2 $1M Charles Town Classic (Race 11, 5:37 p.m.)
Leg 5: Aqueduct - $200K NYSSS Times Square division (Race 9, 5:48 p.m.)