Stakes action from Aqueduct, Oaklawn and Keeneland comprise Saturday’s Cross Country Pick 5
by Brian Bohl
The New York Racing Association, Inc. [NYRA] will host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, April 10, featuring racing action from Aqueduct Racetrack, Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas and Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky.
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.
The Big A will kick off the sequence with a one-mile allowance contest for 3-year-olds and up on the main track in Race 7 at 4:42 p.m. Eastern. An eight-horse field will see the Rudy Rodriguez-trained Yankee Division, who was third in the Alex M. Robb in December at the same track, take on challengers including Arham, a Todd Pletcher trainee making just his third career start after a debut win and a runner-up effort last out.
Keeneland will open the Cross Country Pick 5’s stakes action with the $100,000 Giant’s Causeway for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up going 5 ½ furlongs on the Haggin turf course in Race 8 at 4:57 p.m. Into Mystic, trained by Brendan Walsh, is the 2-1 morning-line favorite and boasts a record of 17-5-4-3 with purse earnings of $340,273.
Aqueduct will feature the first turf stakes of the year on the NYRA circuit when three-time graded stakes-winner Decorated Invader will take aim of the $100,000 Danger’s Hour for 4-year-olds and up going one mile in Race 8 at 5:19 p.m. Decorated Invader, trained by Christophe Clement, enters his 4-year-old year after posting three victories in six starts as a sophomore, including back-to-back Grade 2 scores in the one-mile Pennine Ridge by 4 3/4 lengths in June at Belmont Park and following with a 1 1/4-length victory in the Hall of Fame in July at Saratoga Race Course.
Trainer Chad Brown will send out two in the Danger’s Hour with Analyze It and the British-bred Delaware. Analyze It is also a three-time graded stakes-winner, including the Grade 3 Red Bank going one mile in September at Monmouth Park.
Action shifts back to Keeneland for the Grade 3, $200,000 Lexington for 3-year-olds competing at 1 1/16 miles in a qualifier for the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby with 20-8-4-2 points on the line to the top-four finishers. The Lexington, slated for Race 9 at 5:30 p.m., will see Proxy look to add to the 34 Derby points he has already accumulated after runner-up finishes in the Grade 3 Lecomte and the Grade 2 Risen Star before running fourth in last month’s Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. Hall of Famer John Velazquez has the mount and will break from post position seven aboard the Michael Stidham trainee. Bezos, a maiden winner last out on March 26 at Santa Anita, will make his first stakes appearance for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
Oaklawn will get in on the stakes action with an exciting conclusion, hosting the $400,000 Oaklawn Mile for 4-year-olds and up in Race 9 at 5:49 p.m. By My Standards, who earned more than $1 million as a 4-year-old in 2020, will make his first start as a 5-year-old when trainer Bret Calhoun sends the multiple Grade 2-winner out to face an accomplished field that includes fellow Grade 2-winner Rushie, who is also Grade 1-placed. Wells Bayou, who won the 2020 Grade 2 Louisiana Derby, will also be in the mix for reigning Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox.
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 www.NYRABets.com.
Cross Country Pick 5 – Saturday, April 10:
Leg A: Aqueduct– Race 7 (4:42 p.m.)
Leg B: Keeneland – Race 8 Giant’s Causeway (4:57 p.m.)
Leg C: Aqueduct – Race 8 Danger’s Hour (5:19 p.m.)
Leg D: Keeneland – Race 9 G3 Lexington (5:30 p.m.)
Leg E: Oaklawn – Race 9 Oaklawn Mile (5:49 p.m.)