Two stakes races, one featuring a Breeders’ Cup board hitter, highlight Saturday’s New York Racing Association cross-country pick 5, which comes to you from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs .
This is the first of two Cross Country Pick 5s this weekend. Multi-race, multi-track betting resets on Monday with action from the Churchill Downs Stakes and Belmont Park’s Big Apple Showcase Day.
As for Saturday, each track offers one of the stakes races in the five-race sequence, starting with the third stop: Belmont Park’s Grade 3 Soaring Softly. This seven furlong turf sprint features Chad Brown’s Haughty, who hasn’t raced since finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last November.
“I like what I see from Haughty. She’s been training pretty well,” Brown told NYRA. a little later than I wanted, but she is quickly making up for lost time now in her work.
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Three rivals await him, all from Christophe Clément’s barn: Derrynane, Breeze Easy and Anador. If that wasn’t enough, Wesley Ward kicks off Chardy Party, picking up a win on his April debut at Keeneland. It could be the one you generously sprinkled on your ticket.
Stage four gives you the Churchill Downs stakes race: the 1 ½ mile Keertana Overnight on grass. The discussion begins with defending champion Temple City Terror. Brendan Walsh’s four-time winner and 3/1 morning line favorite finished fifth in a 1 1/16 mile allowance in mid-April at Keeneland.
The 6-year-old mare is chased by Luck Money (7/2), who hit the board on three graded grass courses. All were marathons and all were on different tracks: Delaware Park, Keeneland and Belmont Park. The latter finished second in the May 7 Sheepshead Bay Grade 2, her only race of 2022.
Monster Field Opens Cross Country Pick 5
This week’s Cross Country Pick 5 opens at Churchill Downs with a special first weight of 1 1/16 mile for ages 3 and up. This, too, may require wide dissemination, due to the 16 horsepower field overflow. Brown’s Ridley’s Major moves to the dirt after two silver finishes in grass races. The war campaign expands from 6 ½ stadia to 8 ½ stadia after finishing second on his April debut at Keeneland. Steve Asmussen leads Scotland Yard, which finished out of the table in its last start at Keeneland.
Stage two heads north to Belmont Park for an optional one-mile claiming race for ages 3 and up. Here we say “hello” again to Brown’s Highly Motivated. The 10e-2021 Kentucky Derby finisher and Essential Quality runner-up in the Blue Grass Stakes finishes fourth in an optional seven furlong sprint on April 16 at Keeneland.
Highly motivated tangles with Stage Raider, the 4-year-old half-brother of 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify. He won a race at this track at this distance last May.
NYRA 5 Cross Country Pick
|A-leg||Maiden Special Weight||Churchill Falls||4:22 p.m.|
|B-leg||Allocation||Belmont Park||4:40 p.m.|
|C-leg||Hover gently (G3)||Belmont Park||5:12 p.m.|
|R leg||Night in Keertana||Churchill Falls||5:26 p.m.|
|E-leg||Allocation||Churchill Falls||5:58 p.m.|
The final stage sends 11 second-year fillies over six furlongs to the main Churchill Downs track. The hard-riding Ontheonesandtwos finished second in a May 6 allocation under the Kentucky Oaks card. She finished second in the Debutante Stakes last June at Churchill Downs.
Ari Oakley is waiting for her, she of the best speed figure 91 Beyer, the last outing of her first victory. Brian Lynch’s Stable Fire awaits the two, who hasn’t raced since wiring a grass field on his Saratoga debut last September.
The minimum bet on the Cross Country Pick 5 is 50 cents. The bet comes with a 15% cashout. Each week has a total net pool payout.
Past performance is available here at https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/cross-country-wagers.