by New York Racing Association Press Release
July 2, 2020
ELMONT, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will team with Delaware Park to host a Cross Country Pick 5 encompassing all graded stakes on Saturday, July 4.
The wager will feature the first two legs at Delaware Park and the concluding three at Belmont Park. Live coverage of Saturday's stakes action from Belmont Park will be available with America's Day at the Races on FS1 and MSG+. NBC, which will air live coverage from 5-6 p.m. Eastern, will show the sequence's third leg with the Grade 1, $500,000 Runhappy Metropolitan at 5:47 p.m.
Delaware Park will kick off the wager at 4:45 p.m. with the Grade 3, $300,000 Delaware Oaks for sophomore fillies going 1 1/16 miles in Race 8. The eight-horse field will be part of a historic Delaware Oaks edition, as the race will offer 50-20-10-5 qualifying points towards the Kentucky Oaks in September at Churchill Downs for the first time. Piece of My Heart, the winner of the Gardenia in May, has been training at Delaware Park and will compete against a field that includes Comical, trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen.
Action will stay at Delaware for Race 9 in the Grade 3, $125,000 Kent for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles on turf. Gufo, 5-2 on the morning line, enters with three straight wins. The Christophe Clement trainee made his debut in November at Aqueduct Racetrack and won the English Channel last out in May at Gulfstream Park. Post time is 5:15 p.m.
Belmont Park, which offers a total of five graded stakes on Runhappy Met Mile Day, will close out the Independence Day wager by hosting the final three legs, starting with the Runhappy Met Mile in Race 9. An eight-horse field boasting a combined 20 graded stakes victories will look to capture the Runhappy Met Mile and in the process earn an automatic entry to the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile in November at Keeneland.
The race's 127th edition features Code of Honor, a $2.4-million earner and winner of last year's Grade 1 Runhappy Travers at Saratoga and Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup; and four-time Grade 1-winner McKinzie, who captured last year's Grade 1 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga and boasts lifetime earnings of over $3.4 million.
The penultimate leg of the Cross Country Pick 5 will offer another Grade 1, with the $400,000 Manhattan for 4-year-olds and up going 1 ¼ miles on the inner turf in Race 10 at 6:20 p.m. Seven-time winner Sadler's Joy will be making his third career start in the Manhattan, coming tantalizingly close to a win for trainer Tom Albertrani by finishing a neck behind Spring Quality as part of a blanket finish in 2018. The year prior, the son of Kitten's Joy ran third, 1 ½-lengths back to winner Ascend. Sadler's Joy ended his 2019 year with a two-length win in the Grade 3 Red Smith in November at Aqueduct Racetrack and started his 7-year-old campaign against top-tier competition, running sixth in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf in January at Gulfstream Park.
Two-time Grade 1-winner Channel Maker will return to the site of his most recent win, when he bested Arklow by a neck to win the Grade 1 Man o'War in May 2019. Trainer Chad Brown has won the Manhattan four of the last six runnings and entered a troika of contenders for his bid to repeat after Bricks and Mortar's triumph last year. This year, he will saddle Instilled Regard, Devamani and Rockemperor.
Closing out the sequence will be the Grade 2, $200,000 Suburban in Race 11 at 6:51 p.m. The 1 1/4-mile test on Big Sandy, will feature the one-two-three finishers of last year's Grade 1 Belmont Stakes as Sir Winston, Tacitus and Joevia rematch in the 134th edition of the 10-furlong Suburban.
Sir Winston, who won the 2019 Belmont Stakes for Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse, made his belated return on June 11 on a sloppy Belmont strip in the 1 3/8-mile Flat Out, running second by 5 ¼-lengths to Suburban rival Moretti. Tacitus will make his third start of the season and first since running fourth in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap on May 2. Joevia was fourth last out in the Grade 3 Westchester off a three-month layoff.
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, July 4:
Leg 1 - Delaware Park, Race 8: Grade 3 Delaware Oaks (4:45 p.m.)
Leg 2 - Delaware Park, Race 9: Grade 3 Kent (5:15 p.m.)
Leg 3 - Belmont, Race 9: Grade 1 Runhappy Met Mile (5:47 p.m.)
Leg 4 - Belmont, Race 10: Grade 1 Manhattan (6:20 p.m.)
Leg 5 - Belmont, Race 11: Grade 2 Suburban (6:51 p.m.)