Saturday's Cross Country Pick 5 features graded stakes action from Belmont Park, Delaware Park
by Ryan Martin
ELMONT, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will host an all graded stakes Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday July 6, featuring racing action from Belmont Park's Stars & Stripes Racing Festival and Delaware Park in Wilmington, Delaware.
The Grade 1, $750,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational kicks off the Cross Country Pick 5 when a field of nine 3-year-old fillies for the 1 ¼-mile event over the inner turf. Trainer Chad Brown will saddle a trio of contenders, including last year's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Newspaperofrecord, Grade 3 Wonder Again winner Cambier Parc and highly regarded allowance winner Cafe Americano. Aidan O'Brien sends two group stakes winners in Europe with Coral Beach and Just Wonderful. The Belmont Oaks Invitational is carded as Race 7 with a 4:30 p.m. post time.
Action shifts to the Mid Atlantic for the second leg, which is the Grade 3, $300,000 Delaware Oaks. Last year's Champion Two-Year-Old Filly Jaywalk is entered in the 1 1/16-mile event for trainer John Servis and will look for her first victory since winning the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies in November at Churchill Downs. The Delaware Oaks will be Race 7 on Delaware Park's Saturday afternoon program with a post time of 4:37 p.m.
Carded as Race 8 at Delaware Park is the Grade 3, $200,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial for older fillies and mares on the turf. Set to go off at 5:12 p.m., the 1 3/8-mile event features recent stakes winner Gentle Ruler, who won the Keertana Overnight at Churchill Downs last time out for trainer Ian Wilkes. Also entered in the Robert Dick is stakes winner Osare, who is trained by Jonathan Thomas and is a half-sister to champion Arrogate.
Carded as Race 9 with a 5:44 p.m. post time, a full field of 14 plus one also eligible entrant will go into line for the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Derby Invitational. Brown will be represented by four runners in Standard Deviation, graded stakes winners Demarchelier and Digital Age as well as Rockemperor, who makes his first start in North America. O'Brien sends over a pair of Irish-bred dual grouped stakes placed runners by world-leading sire Galileo in Blenheim Palace and Cape of Good Hope.
A field of 11 older horses has been assembled for the Grade 2, $700,000 Suburban, which is the final leg of the Cross Country Pick 5 and has a scheduled post time of 6:18 p.m. Dual Grade 1 winner Catholic Boy headlines the 1 ¼-mile event for older horses over the Belmont Park main track and will attempt to add a seventh graded stakes win to his resume. Four other graded stakes winners are featured in the event, including Marconi and Rocketry - the one-two finishers of the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational earlier in the meet. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Marconi will seek his fourth straight win in the Suburban and finished a head in front of Rocketry in his last two starts. Rocketry, trained by Jimmy Jerkens, will seek his first win since taking last year's Grade 2 Marathon at Churchill Downs. The Suburban is carded as Race 10.
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 - Delaware Park Cross Country Pick 5
Leg A: Belmont Park- Grade 1, $750,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational (Race 7, 4:30 p.m.)
Leg B: Delaware Park- Grade 3, $300,000 Delaware Oaks (Race 7, 4:37 pm)
Leg C: Delaware Park- Grade 3, $200,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial (Race 8, 5:12 pm)
Leg D: Belmont Park- Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Derby Invitational (Race 9, 5:44 pm)
Leg E: Belmont Park- Grade 2, $700,000 Suburban (Race 10, 6:18 p.m.)