by NYRA Press Office
The New York Racing Association will host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday featuring racing action from Belmont Park and Woodbine Racetrack in Etobicoke, Ontario.
A special all-turf edition of the Cross Country Pick 5 features the $200,000 Pebbles for sophomore fillies from Belmont as well as three graded turf stakes from the lucrative Ricoh Woodbine Mile card, including the 23rd renewal of the Grade 1, $1 million Woodbine Mile along with the Grade 1, $300,000 Northern Dancer Turf and the Grade 2, $250,000 Canadian presented by the Japan Racing Association.
The action kicks off in Race 7 [4:30 p.m. Eastern] at Woodbine with a talented field of seven assembled for the nine-furlong Canadian led by $1.3 million earner Holy Helena. Trained by Jimmy Jerkens, Holy Helena is a four-time graded stakes winner on turf, including a last-out score in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly at Woodbine. Her main competition includes Competitionofideas, a Grade 1 winner trained by Chad Brown, who arrives at the Canadian from a rallying third in the Grade 1 Beverly D.
The Woodbine Mile, featuring a field of 11, marks the second leg in Race 8 at 5:42 p.m. Gary Barber and Southern Equine Stable's Got Stormy, who became the first filly to win the Grade 1, $500,000 Fourstardave last out at Saratoga Race Course, headlines the one-turn mile. Trained by Mark Casse, Got Stormy, wheeled back a week after her victory in the De La Rose, covered one mile over the firm inner turf in a track record 1:32 flat in her Fourstardave coup. Steep opposition comes in the form of Godolphin's Lucullan, who has won two straight, including a last-out win in the Lure, following a one-year layoff for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
Racing action switches to Belmont for the third leg, the 27th running of the $200,000 Pebbles going one mile on the Widener turf in Race 10 at 5:57 p.m. Brown will saddle a pair of formidable contenders, led by multiple Grade 3-winner Seek and Destroy and the multiple graded-stakes placed Blowout.
The penultimate leg returns to Woodbine for the 1 1/2-mile Northern Dancer Turf in Race 10 at 6:17 p.m., which attracted a field of six led by $4.2 million earner Old Persian. Trained by Charles Appleby for Godolphin, the 4-year-old Dubawi colt boasts eighth career wins including a 1 1/2-length score in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic in March. Woodbine-based Tiz a Slam represents locals hopes, entering the event on a three-race win streak all in graded company.
Saturday's nightcap at Belmont [Race 11, 6:30 p.m.], a six-furlong claiming sprint on the inner turf featuring 11 contestants, and three main-track only entrants, closes out the challenging sequence. Mike's Girl, a two-length maiden winner at Saratoga on August 28, faces winners for the first time for trainer Danny Gargan. Andretta, who boasts a record of 1-5-1 from 10 starts, is offered for a tag for only the second time for the high-percentage combination of trainer H. James Bond and jockey Junior Alvarado.
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.
Belmont Park-Monmouth-Woodbine Cross Country Pick 5
Leg A: Woodbine, Race 7 - Grade 2 Canadian (4:30 pm)
Leg B: Woodbine, Race 9 - Grade 1 Woodbine Mile (5:42 pm)
Leg C: Belmont Park, Race 10 - $200,000 Pebbles (5:57 pm)
Leg D: Woodbine, Race 10 - Grade 1 Northern Dancer (6:17 pm)
Leg E: Belmont Park, Race 11 - (6:30 pm)