by New York Racing Association Press Release
May 1, 2019
ELMONT, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will again host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, featuring racing action from Belmont Park as well as Woodbine Racetrack in Etobicoke, Ontario and Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
A dozen New York-breds plus three main-track only entrants kick off the sequence in the ninth race at Belmont Park, which is scheduled to go off at 4:20 p.m.
The seven-furlong event over the Widener turf course features the stakes-placed pair of New York Hero and Veterans Beach. Trained by New York mainstay Gary Contessa, New York Hero was third in the Rego Park in February 2018 and seeks his first win since an allowance victory at Finger Lakes last November. Veteran Beach was third in last year's Laurel Futurity for trainer Danny Gargan.
The action shifts toward our neighbors to the north for Race 8 at Woodbine - the Grade 3 $125,000 Jacques Cartier. Carded for 4:40 p.m., the six-furlong race contested over the Tapeta surface drew a dozen horses, including fan favorite Pink Lloyd who will seek his third straight Jacques Cartier victory. Trainer Mark Casse sends a pair of talented stakes winners to the event with Curlin's Honor and Conquest Panthera.
The action then shifts back to New York for the third leg - the Grade 3 $150,000 Fort Marcy. Carded as the 10th race for 4:56 p.m., the 1 1/8-mile event over the inner turf drew a field of nine including a threesome from the barn of Chad Brown. Making his 2019 debut in the event is Chilean-bred Robert Bruce who won last year's running of the Fort Marcy in his United States debut. He would go on to win the Grade 1 Arlington Million later in the summer. Brown also sends out French-bred Olympico and Brazilian-bred Arrocha, both of which are making their North American debuts.
The penultimate leg, the Grade 3, $200,000 Westchester at Belmont Park, includes red hot Prince Lucky who is already a two-time graded stakes winner this year. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the son of Corinthian faces seven others in the Westchester, including graded stakes winning millionaire Sunny Ridge and stakes winner Realm. The one-mile test over the Belmont Park main track is scheduled to go off at 5:40 p.m.
In the final leg of the Cross Country Pick 5, 11 sophomores will square off the in the inaugural running of the $300,000 Oaklawn Invitational. The 1 1/8-mile stakes event at Oaklawn Park is carded as the 11th race and gives the winner an automatic berth into the Grade 1 $1.5 million Preakness Stakes on May 18 at Pimlico. Contestants for the Oaklawn Invitational include Grade 2 Holy Bull winner Harvey Wallbanger for trainer Kenny McPeek. Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen has four of the race's 11 entrants including two-time winner Laughing Fox who was made the 3-1 morning line favorite. The Oaklawn Invitational has a scheduled post time of 6:38 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.
Belmont Park - Woodbine - Oaklawn Park Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, May 4
Leg A: Belmont - Race 9 (4:20 pm)
Leg B: Woodbine - Grade 3, $125,000 Jacques Cartier (Race 8, 4:40 pm)
Leg C: Belmont - Grade 3, $150,000 Fort Marcy (Race 10, 4:56 pm)
Leg D: Belmont - Grade 3, $200,000 Westchester (Race 11, 5:40 pm)
Leg E: Oaklawn - $300,000 Oaklawn Invitational (Race 11, 6:38 pm)