by NYRA Press Office
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Sunday, August 11 featuring action from Saratoga Race Course, Emerald Downs in Auburn, Washington and Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky.
Ellis Park will host the first leg of the sequence, the $125,000 Groupie Doll for fillies and mares going one mile on the main track. Carded as Race 8 with a 5:10 p.m. post time Eastern, the Groupie Doll features last out stakes winners My Mertie, who won the Grade 3 Chicago Handicap at Arlington Park, and Moonlit Garden, a runaway winner of Prairie Meadows' Iowa Distaff in June.
Action will then shift to Saratoga when ten fillies and mares, plus two also-eligible entrants, will go into line for the $100,000 Galway over the Mellon turf course. The 5 ½-furlong event features two horses for trainer Michael Stidham, with last-out stakes winner Missmizz and graded stakes winner Elsa. The former of the two runners won the Blue Sparkler at Monmouth Park last out, while Elsa seeks her first victory since winning the Grade 3 Jimmy Durante at Del Mar last November.
Ellis Park will host the third leg of the sequence, when a field of 10 sophomores go into line for the $100,000 Ellis Park Derby. Making his comeback after a six-month layoff is Super Steed for trainer Larry Jones, who won the Grade 3 Southwest at Oaklawn Park in February. The 5-2 favorite for the race is Gray Magician, who finished 19th in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby and subsequently was runner-up in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby. The Ellis Park Derby will go off as Race 9 with a 5:40 post time.
The remaining two legs of the Cross Country Pick 5 will be hosted by Emerald Downs in the Pacific Northwest. The penultimate race in the sequence is the $50,000 Emerald Downs Distaff, which will go off as Race 6 with a 7:42 p.m. post time. Trainer Blaine Wright will saddle 5-2 morning line favorite Bella Mia from the rail as she seeks her fifth career stakes win.
A field of 11 older horses will close out the sequence in the Grade 3, $200,000 Longacres Mile. Wright will send the favorite once more when he saddles 8-5 morning line favorite Anyportinastorm, who will attempt his fourth straight victory. Trainer John Sadler will send Curlin Rules from southern California and will go for his first win since August 2017. Carded as Race 7, the Longacres Mile will go off at 8:30 p.m.
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.
Saratoga - Ellis Park - Emerald Downs Cross Country Pick 5
Leg A: Ellis Park-Race 8 (5:10 pm)
Leg B: Saratoga-Race 9 (5:18 pm)
Leg C: Ellis Park-Race 9 (5:40 pm)
Leg D: Emerald Downs-Race 6 (7:42 pm)
Leg E: Emerald Downs-Race 7 (8:30 pm)