by New York Racing Association Press Release
May 9, 2019
ELMONT, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, featuring racing action from the Man o' War Racing Festival at Belmont Park as well as Monmouth Park and Woodbine Racetrack.
Racing fans will have access to free past performances for Saturday's Cross Country Pick 5 sequence courtesy of Equibase. A link to download the past performances will be provided at equibase.com.
Kicking off the sequence is the $100,000 Ballade from Etobicoke, Ontario at Woodbine scheduled as the eighth race with a post time of 4:59 p.m.
The six-furlong stakes for Ontario-breds 3-year-olds and up on the all-weather synthetic surface features a field of nine. Headlining the field is Ivan Dalos' graded stakes winner Silent Sonet for conditioner Nicholas Gonzalez looking to improve off a fifth-place finish last out in the Plenty of Grace. Also entered is Zestina for Stronach Stables and trainer Sid Attard following a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Whimsical on April 20 at Woodbine.
The action then shifts to New York for the eighth race (5:18 p.m.) at Belmont Park, a 1 1/16-mile maiden tilt featuring a field of 12 with three also-eligible entrants. Augustin Stable's homebred Varenka, a 3-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper, stands out having finished second in the Grade 2 Miss Grillo last September ahead of a closing fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Hall of Famer Javier Castellano has the call for Varenka's seasonal debut.
The action then shifts to Oceanport, New Jersey at Monmouth Park for Race 10 (5:25 p.m.) - the Serena's Song, featuring a salty field of six led by Forever Liesl and Imply.
Trained by Michelle Nevin for Kallenberg Farms, the ultra-consistent Forever Liesl owns a record of 5-6-4 from 18 starts including a win in the Ladies Handicap at the Big A in January. Imply makes her seasonal debut for trainer Bernard Houghton in the mile and seventy yard event. The 6-year-old E. Dubai chestnut has banked in excess of $500,000 in her eight-win career.
The sequence returns to New York for the remaining two legs featuring the $150,000 Runhappy for 4-year-olds and up carded as Race 9 with a scheduled post time of 5:51 p.m.
The six-furlong sprint boasts a field of six, including graded stakes winners Firenze Fire for Mr. Amore Stables and trainer Jason Servis; Sagamore Farm's Recruiting Ready with conditioner Stanley Hough; and Skyler's Scramjet for SJB Stable and trainer Michelle Nevin.
The final leg of the Cross Country Pick 5 is the 67th running of the Grade 1, $700,000 Man o' War as nine entrants will square off in the first grade 1 event of the Belmont spring/summer meet.
Chad Brown will saddle graded stakes winner Focus Group for Klaravich Stables who enters following a win in the Grade 2 Pan American at Gulfstream Park on March 30.
Aidan O'Brien sends out a pair of international entrants looking for their first graded stakes win in North America as Hunting Horn and filly Magic Wand represent owners Michael Tabor, Mr. and Mrs. John Magnier, and Derrick Smith.
Also entered are multiple graded stakes winners Zulu Alpha for owner Michael Hui and trainer Mike Maker and Channel Maker for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott and owners Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber, R.A. Hill Stable and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing.
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 - Woodbine - Oaklawn - Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, May 4
Leg A: Woodbine - Race 8, $100,000 Ballade (4:59 p.m)
Leg B: Belmont - Race 8, Maiden Special Weight (5:18 p.m.)
Leg C: Monmouth - Race 10, $75,000 Serena's Song (Race 10, 5:25 p.m.)
Leg D: Belmont - Race 9, $150,000 Runhappy (5:40 p.m.)
Leg E: Belmont - Race 10, Grade 1, $700,000 Man o' War (6:24 p.m.)