Jul 9, 2020
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NYRA partners with Keeneland; Delaware Park for Cross Country Pick 5

by Brian Bohl

Free Equibase PPs available

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will host a Cross Country Pick 5, featuring a combined four graded stakes among Keeneland and Delaware Park, on Saturday, July 11. 

Live coverage of races in the sequence on the final Saturday of the Belmont Park spring/summer meet will be available with America's Day at the Races on FS1 and MSG+.

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.

Keeneland will start the wager with Race 6 at 3:51 p.m. with the Grade 2, $150,000 Shakertown for 3-year-olds and up going 5 ½ furlongs on turf. Wildman Jack, trained by Doug O'Neill, is listed at 5-2 on the morning line as part of an overflow 14-horse field. Wildman Jack enters off a win in the Grade 3 Daytona on May 23 at Santa Anita. In March, he set a track record at Meydan Racecourse with his win in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint, completing six furlongs on the turf course in 1:07.61.

Delaware Park will host the second leg, with the Grade 3, $125,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up in Race 7 at 4:15 p.m. Gentle Ruler will be seeking a repeat victory in the 1 3/8-mile turf route, which attracted a 10-horse field. Gentle Ruler, trained by Ian Wilkes, made an appearance at Saratoga Race Couse following her 2019 victory at Delaware Park, running fourth in the Grade 3 Fasig-Tipton Waya in August. She then won back-to-back stakes, including the Grade 3 Dowager in October at Keeneland to cap her campaign. She started her 5-year-old year with a runner-up effort in the Grade 3 Orchid in March at Gulfstream Park before besting allowance company in June at Churchill Downs. 

Action shifts back to Keeneland for the next two races, starting with the Grade 1, $350,000 Jenny Wiley for older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on turf in Race 8 at 4:57 p.m. Rushing Fall, a four-time Grade 1-winner trained by Chad Brown, made her first start since October when she won the Grade 3 Beaugay by two lengths on June 3 at Belmont. She now enters the Jenny Wiley as the 6-5 favorite in the eight-horse field that also includes the Brazilin-bred Jolie Olimpica [5-2 morning line], who has two graded stakes wins already this year. Trained by Richard Mandella, the 4-year-old Drosselmeyer filly captured the Grade 3 Las Cienegas in January and the Grade 2 Monrovia last out on May 25, with both wins coming at Santa Anita. 

Race 9, at 5:30 p.m., will showcase the Grade 2, $600,000 Blue Grass for sophomores. Offering 100-40-20-10 qualifying points to the top-four finishers towards September's Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, the 96th running of the Blue Grass will see filly Swiss Skydiver take on the boys in the 1 1/8-mile contest as part of a 13-horse field. Trained by Kenneth McPeek, two-time Blue Grass winner, Swiss Skydiver will look to earn her first Derby qualifying points after winning three graded stakes this year and securing a spot in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks on September 4, racking up 310 points towards the "Lilies for the fillies." 

No filly has ever won the Blue Grass, but a strong showing could see Swiss Skydiver dream of running for the roses instead. To get there, she will take on a field that includes Basin, who won last year's Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga and most recently ran second in a division of the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Basin is ninth on the Derby leaderboard with 50 points.

Belmont Park, on the final Saturday of the spring/summer meet, will close out the sequence with Race 9 at 5:36 p.m. A 14-horse field of New York-bred 3-year-olds and up will contest at seven furlongs on the turf and includes Uncle George, listed at 7-2 on the morning line, and Big Wonder, at 6-1. 

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, July 11:
Leg 1 - Keeneland, Race 6: Grade 2 Shakertown (3:51 p.m.)
Leg 2 - Delaware Park, Race 7: Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial (4:15 p.m.)
Leg 3 - Keeneland, Race 8: Grade 1 Jenny Wiley (4:57 p.m.)
Leg 4 - Keeneland, Race 9: Grade 2 Blue Grass (5:30 p.m.)
Leg 5 - Belmont, Race 9: (5:36 p.m.)

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