Feb 25, 2021
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Saturday’s Cross Country Pick 5 features action at the Big A and Oaklawn Park

by Ryan Martin

Free Equibase PPs available 

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday featuring racing action from Aqueduct Racetrack and Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Live coverage will be available with America’s Day at the Races on FOX Sports. Free Equibase past performances for the Cross Country Pick 5 sequence are now available for download at https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/cross-country-wagers. 

Kicking off the sequence, a field of eight New York-bred sophomores seek their first trip to the winner’s circle in Race 7 at Aqueduct, which has a 4:10 p.m. Eastern scheduled post time. Trainer Chad Brown will debut Michael Dubb and Bethlehem Stables’ Dr Ardito, a gray or roan son of third-crop stallion Liam’s Map out of the Indian Charlie mare Delightfully So. Viking Zim makes his career debut for trainer Jeremiah Englehart and Bill Parcells’ August Dawn Farm. The son of second crop sire Mshawish was bred by Taylor Brothers Properties and was purchased for $120,000 from the 2020 OBS April Sale. 

Action shifts south to Oaklawn Park for the next two contests, encompassing stakes races. In the second leg, a compact field of seven older horses, including five graded stakes winners, will assemble for the Grade 3, $600,000 Razorback at 1 1/16 miles. Breaking from the outside, Godolphin’s Mystic Guide makes his first start since a close second in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup on October 3 at Belmont Park for trainer Michael Stidham. The son of Ghostzapper won the Grade 2 Jim Dandy on September 5 at Saratoga and has never finished worse than third in six lifetime starts. Rupp Racing’s millionaire Owendale seeks his fourth graded stakes triumph for Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox. Carded as Race 7, the Razorback has a scheduled 4:20 p.m. post.

Fillies and mares 4-years-old and upward go into line for the $200,000 Spring Fever [Race 8, 4:52 p.m.]. Trainer Wesley Ward sends Ten Broeck Farm’s accomplished stakes winner Kimari to the Hot Springs oval for her first start of 2021. A stakes winner on both dirt and turf, the daughter of Munnings was twice second overseas at Royal Ascot, most recently in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup on June 19. Novogratz Racing Stables’ Amy’s Challenge will seek a sixth stakes triumph while also attempting to keep a consistent Oaklawn record intact for trainer McLean Robertson. The swift daughter of Artie Schiller was second in last year’s edition of the Spring Fever and scored in the 2019 running. 

Aqueduct will host the penultimate leg [Race 9, 5:13 p.m.], where a dozen 3-year-old New York-bred fillies seek a maiden special weight triumph going six furlongs. Trainer Christophe Clement will debut Sport Model for Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, a bay Freud filly that has been training in South Florida at Payson Park. Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out Robert Valeri’s Laura’s Bellamy, a homebred daughter of Bellamy Road out of the Disco Rico mare Laura Can Disco. 

Closing out the sequence, Godolphin’s 2020 Champion Two-Year-Old Essential Quality takes on six other sophomores in the Grade 3, $750,000 Southwest going 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn Park. Carded as Race 9 with a 5:58 p.m. post time, the Southwest is a 10-4-2-1 qualifier for the Kentucky Derby offering points to the top-four finishers. Trained by Brad Cox, Essential Quality, a gray son of Tapit, is currently second on the leaderboard with 50 points and will put an unscathed 3-for-3 record on the line in his first start since winning the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland. 

Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen will saddle J. Kirk and Judy Robison’s Jackie’s Warrior, fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, who won last year’s Runhappy Hopeful and Champagne, both Grade 1 races on the NYRA circuit and is No. 9 on the leaderboard with 12 points. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert sends million-dollar purchase Spielberg who will attempt to make amends after a distant fourth in the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita. The chestnut son of Union Rags won the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Futurity on December 19 and is currently No. 8 on the leaderboard with 13 points. 

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, February 27:

Leg A: Aqueduct – Race 7 (4:10 p.m.)

Leg B: Oaklawn Park – Race 7, Grade 3, $600,000 Razorback (4:20 p.m.)

Leg C: Oaklawn Park – Race 8, $200,000 Spring Fever (4:52 p.m.)

Leg D: Aqueduct – Race 9 (5:13 p.m.)

Leg E: Oaklawn Park – Race 9, Grade 3, $750,000 Southwest (5:58 p.m.)

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