by New York Racing Association Press Release
June 25, 2020
ELMONT, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will partner with Churchill Downs and Thistledown to host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, June 27.
The wager, featuring all graded stakes races across the three tracks, will have live coverage of all the races in the sequence available with America's Day at the Races on Fox Sports and MSG+.
Thistledown, located in North Randall, Ohio, will kick off the sequence with the Grade 3, $500,000 Ohio Derby. The Buckeye State's premier race will be a Kentucky Derby prep race for the first time with the "Run for the Roses" being moved to September due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Carded as Race 8 at 4:22 p.m. Eastern, the Ohio Derby will award 20-8-4-2 qualifying points to the top-four finishers. Among the contenders is Storm the Court, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in November who is winless in three starts this year, though he did finish third in the Grade 2 San Felipe in March at Santa Anita. Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen will enter a pair of contenders in Rowdy Yates and Code Runner, who ran eighth in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby before defeating allowance company earlier this month at Lone Star.
Action will shift to Belmont Park for the second leg, with the Grade 2, $150,000 True North for 4-year-olds and up in Race 9 at 5:36 p.m. Grade 1-winner Promises Fulfilled returns off a more than eight month layoff as part of an eight-horse field that also includes Yorkton, a multiple graded-stakes winner on synthetic, who is seeking his first win on the main track.
For the Pick 5's third race, Churchill will take its star turn with the Grade 2, $500,000 Stephen Foster in Race 10 at 5:47 p.m. A "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Classic in November at Keeneland, the Stephen Foster, for 4-year-olds and up contesting at 1 1/8 miles, will see Tom's d'Etat, a winner of three straight, including the Grade 1 Clark in November over the same track, breaking from post 5 for trainer Al Stall, Jr. Other contenders include By My Standards, the winner of the Grade 2 New Orleans Classic and the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap, and Owendale, the winner of the Blame at Churchill on May 23.
Belmont will host the fourth leg with the Grade 1, $250,000 Just a Game for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up going one mile on the Widener turf in Race 10 at 6:08 p.m. Trainer Chad Brown, seeking his fourth straight win in the race, will saddle three of the seven contenders, including the top-two morning line selections in 7-5 Uni and 8-5 Newspaperofrecord, along with Regal Glory [10-1].
Defending Champion Turf Mare Uni will make her 2020 debut in the Just a Game, having not raced since taking last year's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita, where she became the sixth female to score a win in the race.
Newspaperofrecord arrives off a win Grade 3 Intercontinental on June 6 over the Widener turf. Other contenders include Got Stormy, Beau Recall, Valedictorian and Zofelle.
Closing out the sequence will be the Grade 3, $100,000 Regret at Churchill in Race 11 at 6:20 p.m. Two-time stakes-winning filly Micheline will be in search of her first graded stakes victory as part of a 13-horse field. Harvey's Lil Goil, winner of the Busanda in February at Aqueduct Racetrack, drew post 10.
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, June 27:
Leg 1 - Thistledown, Race 8: Grade 3 Ohio Derby (4:22 p.m.)
Leg 2 - Belmont, Race 9: Grade 2 True North (5:36 p.m.)
Leg 3 - Churchill, Race 10: Grade 2 Stephen Foster (5:47 p.m.)
Leg 4 - Belmont, Race 10: Grade 1 Just a Game (6:08 p.m.)
Leg 5 - Churchill, Race 11: Grade 3 Regret (6:20 p.m.)