Saturday’s Cross Country Pick 5 to feature racing from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs
by Keith McCalmont
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday featuring races from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs.
The Cross Country Pick 5 requires bettors to pick the winner of five select races from tracks across the country. The minimum bet for the multi-track, multi-race wager is 50 cents. Wagering on the Cross Country Pick 5 is available on ADW platforms and at simulcast facilities across the country with each week featuring a mandatory payout of the net pool. The Cross Country Pick 5, boasting a low 15 percent takeout, offers sequences with races from Belmont Park and partner tracks across the country.
Saturday’s sequence kicks off in Race 9 from Churchill Downs at 4:55 p.m. Eastern as a field of nine sophomore fillies sprint six furlongs over the main track in an optional-claimer topped by debut maiden winner Fogo Island.
Trained by Paulo Lobo, the Speightstown dark bay rallied from seventh to graduate by 1 3/4-lengths in a six-furlong sprint over the Turfway Park synthetic on March 31. She will be tested by the Andrew McKeever-trained Charriere, who earned a co-field-best 80 Beyer Speed Figure in her second out graduation over next-out runner-ups Blame Day and Lady Dreamer in January at Fair Grounds Race Course; and the well-bred Daniel Leitch trainee Zapple, who is out of the multiple stakes-winning Empire Maker mare Miss Red Delicious – a half-sister to multiple graded stakes-winning millionaire Lady Apple.
Action switches to Belmont [Race 9, 5:12 p.m.] for the second leg as a field of seven 3-year-olds and up test their stamina over 11 furlongs on the inner turf led by a pair from trainer Mike Maker in Inflation Adjusted and Fighter in the Win.
Inflation Adjusted, a 4-year-old Hard Spun colt, boasts a record of 12-4-2-2 that includes a pair of 1 1/16-mile turf scores in October at Belmont at the Big A, while Fighter in the Win, a Creative Cause 4-year-old, will try for his first turf win in his sixth attempt. Opposition will be provided by New York-bred veterans Danzigwiththestars for conditioner Dominick Schettino and multiple stakes-winner Hold the Salsa for trainer Lisa Lugovich.
The middle leg returns to Churchill Downs [Race 10, 5:26 p.m.] for the $225,000 Keertana, a 12-furlong turf marathon for older fillies and mares led by graded-stakes winner Sparkle Blue for trainer Graham Motion.
The 4-year-old daughter of Hard Spun won the 1 1/16-mile Grade 3 Valley View in October at Keeneland before finishing a close third in the 10-furlong Grade 1 American Oaks in December at Santa Anita. She enters from a sixth-place finish in her seasonal debut in the nine-furlong Grade 3 Modesty on May 5 at Churchill.
The graded-stakes placed Miss Yearwood, a good third in the 11-furlong Grade 3 Jockey Club Oaks Invitational in September at Belmont at the Big A, has made her last two starts at this distance including an allowance score last out at Keeneland for trainer Ian Wilkes. Sinfiltre, trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, has won her last two starts, including a 12-furlong allowance score last out on April 16 over the Keeneland green.
The penultimate leg returns to Belmont [Race 10, 5:44 p.m.] with an overflow field of New York-bred fillies and mares sprinting seven furlongs over the Widener turf course in a competitive maiden special weight.
The Christophe Clement-trained Loon Cry has hit the board in all three career starts, including a close second in a six-furlong turf sprint in April at Aqueduct. Autumn will look to make amends for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey after clipping heels and falling at odds of 4-1 on debut in the same April race as Loon Cry. The Joe Sharp-trained first-time starter Three Cups Full, by Pioneerof the Nile, is out of the multiple graded-stakes winning New York-bred mare Flipcup, who posted wins on dirt and synthetic as well as hitting the board six times in turf tests.
The sequence closes out at Churchill [Race 11, 5:58 p.m.] with a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight over the main track for 3-year-olds and up that drew a field of 11 featuring the Rodolphe Brisset-trained Mullikin.
The Violence dark bay, a $500,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, has finished second in both starts and earned a 93 Beyer last out traveling seven furlongs at Keeneland. A pair of first-time starters are likely to attract attention including the Lobo-trained Cusp, a $725,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale purchase, who is a half-brother to multiple graded-stakes winner Travel Column; while the Brad Cox-trained Paddington, by Curlin, is out of the multiple graded-stakes placed Pulpit mare Sea Island, who is a full-sister to 2007 Grade 2 Peter Pan-winner Sightseeing.
Free Equibase past performances for the Cross Country Pick 5 sequence will be available for download at https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/cross-country-wagers.
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the spring/summer meet at Belmont Park on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/tv-schedule.
NYRA Bets is the best way to bet every race of the Belmont spring/summer meet. Available to horse players nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.
Cross Country Pick 5 – Saturday, May 27
Leg A: Churchill Downs, Race 9 – AOC (4:55 p.m. Eastern)
Leg B: Belmont Park, Race 9 – ALW (5:12 p.m.)
Leg C: Churchill Downs, Race 10 – $225K Keertana (5:26 p.m.)
Leg D: Belmont Park, Race 10 – NY-bred MSW (5:44 p.m.)
Leg E: Churchill Downs, Race 11 – MSW (5:58 p.m.)