by New York Racing Association Press Release
August 27, 2020
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will host a Cross Country Pick 5 that will offer three graded stakes in total, featuring action from historic Saratoga Race Course as well as Monmouth Park and Woodbine Racetrack on Saturday.
Saratoga will start the wager with an exciting juvenile maiden sprint, with a field of 10 contesting at six furlongs on the main track in Race 6 at 3:57 p.m. Eastern. Trainer Chad Brown has a pair of entrants in Highly Motivated and Founder, while Hall of Fame trainers Mark Casse and Steve Asmussen will send out Majestic Street and Happymac, respectively. Trainer Todd Pletcher will see Newbomb depart from the inside post.
Action will shift to Monmouth in Race 9 with a 4:14 p.m. post for the 1 1/2-mile turf route for 3-year-olds and up in an optional claimer. The 10-horse field will see trainer Kelly Breen saddle Epic Bromance, while Decisive Triumph and No Mans Land will be running with blinkers on.
Woodbine will commence the stakes portion of the Cross Country Pick 5 in the third leg with the Grade 3, $125,000 Ontario Colleen for 3-year-old fillies going one mile. Slated as Race 7 at 4:17 p.m., the contest will ironically feature Saratoga Vision. Owned and trained by Alexander Patykewich, the Kentucky-bred won't be running at the Spa, but instead will be looking to break her maiden in her 13th start and is coming off a runner-up effort as an 84-1 longshot in the Grade 3 Selene last month at Woodbine. The field also includes stakes-placed Avie's Samurai and Fly So Pretty, who won last year's Stewart Manor, as well as multiple stakes-winner Two Sixty and multiple graded stakes-placed Walk In Marrakesh.
Saratoga will close the sequence with a pair of Grade 1 contests, starting with the $300,000 Forego presented by America's Best Racing in Race 8 at 5:07 p.m. The seven-furlong contest for older horses on the main track will showcase Whitmore, who won the race's 2018 edition and will now attempt to join Groovy (1986-87) and Quick Call (1988-89) as the only horses to win multiple runnings of the Forego. The 7-year-old enters with a record of 35-14-11-3 and lifetime earnings of over $3.1 million. The Forego will also see Mind Control looking to become a Grade 1-winner at the Spa at ages 2, 3 and 4, while six-time graded stakes-winner Firenze Fire seeks his first Grade 1 triumph since taking the 2017 Champagne during his 2-year-old campaign.
The wager concludes in Saratoga's Race 9 with the Grade 1, $500,000 Sword Dancer for 4-year-olds and up going 1 1/2 miles on the inner turf at 5:43 p.m. A "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Turf on November 7 at Keeneland Race Course, the Forego will see trainer Mike Maker send out a trio of contenders in Aquaphobia, Marzo and Cross Border. Also in the race will be Sadler's Joy, who will make his fourth appearance in the Sword Dancer for trainer Tom Albertrani. The 7-year-old Kitten's Joy horse won this event in 2017, finished sixth in 2018 and last year rallied bravely to finish second by a neck to Annals of Time.
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, August 29
Leg 1 - Saratoga, Race 6: (3:57 p.m.)
Leg 2 - Monmouth, Race 9: (4:14 p.m.)
Leg 3 - Woodbine, Race 7: G3 Ontario Colleen (4:17 p.m.)
Leg 4 - Saratoga, Race 8: G1 Forego (5:07 p.m.)
Leg 5 - Saratoga, Race 9: G1 Sword Dancer (5:43 p.m.)