Edited NYRA Release — An all-graded stakes Cross Country Pick 5 set for Saturday with Free Equibase PPs available. The Cross Country Pick 5 will feature graded stakes from Belmont Park, Keeneland Race Course and Monmouth Park in a wager hosted by the New York Racing Association, Inc.
Live coverage will be available with America’s Day at the Races on FOX Sports and MSG Networks. Free Equibase past performances for the Cross Country Pick 5 sequence are now available for download at https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/cross-country-wagers. Monmouth will start the action in Race 8 at 3:53 p.m. Eastern with the Grade 3, $150,000 Monmouth for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/8 miles on the turf.
The Chad Brown trained Almanaar will be making his first start since he won last year’s edition of the Monmouth in May 2019, coming off a 17-month layoff by looking to make a repeat bid. Brown will also send out the English-bred Serve the King for his first graded stakes start. Bal Harbour, who has run third in three consecutive graded stakes at the same racetrack, including the Grade 3 Monmouth Cup in July, will look to break through in his turf debut for trainer Gregory Sacco.
Belmont will host the first of two Grade 1 events for the Cross Country Pick 5, with seven fillies and mares 3-years-old and up competing in the $250,000 Flower Bowl going 1 ¼ miles on the inner turf in Race 8 at 4:14 p.m. The contest, a “Win and You’re In” qualifier to the Grade 1, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf on November 7 at Keeneland, will feature the top-four finishers in the Grade 2 Glens Falls in August at Saratoga all return.
Civil Union, trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, won that contest last out and will face three Brown-trained contenders in Cambier Parc, My Sister Nat and Nay Lady Nay. Conditioner Tom Albertrani will send out a pair in Beau Belle and Lovely Lucky while the French-bred La Signare, trained by Brendan Walsh, rounds out the field.
Keeneland will get in on the party with the Grade 3, $200,000 Fayette for 3-year-olds and up going nine furlongs on the main track in Race 8 at 4:57 p.m. Mr Freeze, second in last year’s running, will look to earn a trip to the winner’s circle for trainer Dale Romans off a sixth-place finish in the Grade 2 Alysheba in September at Churchill Downs. Returning off a five-month layoff for trainer Danny Gargan is multiple graded-stakes winner Tax, who captured the 2019 Grade 2 Jim Dandy at Saratoga,.
The penultimate leg is the Grade 2, $150,000 Sands Point for sophomore fillies going one mile on the Belmont Widener turf in Race 10 at 5:20 p.m. Brown will saddle two strong contenders, with multiple graded-stakes winner Selflessly and French-bred Tamahere as the four-time Eclipse Award-winning conditioner looks to secure his fourth win in the race.
Speaktomeofsummer will turn back in distance following a Saratoga summer campaign that saw the Summer Front bay capture the nine-furlong Grade 2 Lake Placid on July 19 ahead of a fourth in the 1 3/16-mile Saratoga Oaks Invitational on August 16. The finale will be the Grade 1, $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup for 3-year-old fillies contesting at nine furlongs on the turf in Race 9 at 5:30 p.m.
The English-bred Magic Attitude, winner of the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks last month in her North American debut, garnered acclaim for her career in Europe before coming over to the United States following a win in the Group 1 French Oaks in July at Chantilly.
Steep opposition will be provided by multiple graded-stakes winner Sweet Melania, who captured the Grade 3 Wonder Again in June at Belmont for trainer Todd Pletcher; and a pair of fillies trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott in Saratoga Oaks Invitational-winner Antoinette and graded-stakes winner Harvey’s Lil Goil.
The minimum bet for the multi-track, multi-race wager is 50 cents. Wagering on the Cross Country Pick 5 is also available on ADW platforms and at simulcast facilities across the country. Every week will feature a mandatory payout of the net pool.
Cross Country Pick 5 – Saturday, October 10:
Leg 1 – Monmouth, Race 8: G3 Monmouth (3:53 p.m.)
Leg 2 – Belmont, Race 8: G1 Flower Bowl (4:14 p.m.)
Leg 3 – Keeneland, Race 8: G2 Hagyard Fayette (4:57 p.m.)
Leg 4 – Belmont, Race 10: G2 Sands Point (5:20 p.m.)
Leg 5 – Keeneland, Race 9: G2 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (5:30 p.m.)