Olympiad winning the Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs
The New York Racing Association Inc. will host a special cross breed Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, featuring Grade 1 Thoroughbred action from Whitney Day at Saratoga Race Course and standardbred racing from the Hambletonian card at Meadowlands Racetrack.
Free Equibase past performances for the Cross Country Pick 5 sequence are now available for download at https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/cross-country-wagers.
Please note, current New York State regulations allow NYRA to accept wagering only on standardbred races that take place in New York. As such, this cross breed Cross Country Pick 5 will not be available on-track at any NYRA facility or to NYRA Bets customers located in New York State. The cross breed Cross Country Pick 5 is available to NYRA Bets customers outside of New York State.
The sequence begins in Race 12 [4:41 p.m. Eastern] at the Meadowlands, the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for sophomore fillies trotting one-mile. The field of 10, plus two also-eligibles, is led by 9-5 morning line favorite Venerable for trainer Nifty Norman. The daughter of Walner was a last out winner of an Oaks elimination on July 30 as the heavy favorite in the field of eight. Fashion Schooner, the 4-1 second choice, was runner-up in her elimination race two races after Venerable on the July 30 card. Trained by Jim Campbell, the Walner filly won the New Jersey Sire Stakes and Del Miller earlier this year.
Thoroughbreds take center stage for the middle three legs at Saratoga, starting with the Grade 1, $500,000 Longines Test in Race 9 [5:07 p.m.]. Grade 1 Acorn winner Matareya will look to continue her upward trajectory this year around one turn as she tries to secure a second consecutive Grade 1 win. The Brad Cox trainee also won the Grade 2 Eight Belles and Grade 3 Beaumont earlier this year. Hot Peppers, winner of the Grade 3 Victory Ride in her last start, will look to give trainer Rudy Rodriguez a repeat victory in this event, while the New York-bred Sterling Silver will vie for her first graded stakes win for trainer Tom Albertrani.
The Grade 1 action continues in Race 10 [5:43 p.m.] with the $1 million Whitney, offering a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic in November at Keeneland to the winner. Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher saddles a trio of formidable contenders, led by multiple graded-stakes winner Life Is Good. The son of Into Mischief arrives from a dominant five-length win in the John A. Nerud on July 2 at Belmont Park. Pletcher will also be represented by Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap winner Americanrevolution and Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup victor Happy Saver.
Steep opposition will be provided by Olympiad, who looks to be in good position to score his first top-level victory for Hall of Famer Bill Mott. Olympiad was last seen taking the Grade 2 Stephen Foster over Americanrevolution on July 2 at Churchill Downs.
The penultimate leg will see sophomore turf specialists clash in the Grade 1, $1 million Caesars Saratoga Derby Invitational [Race 11, 6:20 p.m.]. The talented field of 11 is led by Grade 1 Caesars Belmont Derby winner Classic Causeway for trainer Ken McPeek. The son of Giant’s Causeway was a frontrunning winner of the Belmont Derby last time out in his turf debut, adding to scores in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby and Grade 3 Sam F. Davis earlier this year.
Pletcher brings another trio of top contenders as Annapolis, Emmanuel and Grand Sonata all look to break through at the highest level. Like Classic Causeway, Emmanuel was a graded winner in his first go over the lawn, taking the Grade 2 Pennine Ridge on June 4 at Belmont. Annapolis scored his best win in the Grade 3 Pilgrim last fall while Grand Sonata was last seen finishing a closing fourth to Classic Causeway in the Belmont Derby. European invaders Nations Pride and Stone Age are sure to bring interest.
The sequence closes out with the $1 million Hambletonian for sophomores trotting one-mile in Race 15 [6:28 p.m.]. The Lucas Wallin-trained Rebuff is undefeated in three starts this season and has been installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite. The son of Muscle Hill was last seen taking one of two eliminations on July 30 at Meadowlands by 1 1/4 lengths. He will face the Yonkers Trot Champion Joviality S, one of two fillies in the field; and Jiggy Jog S, the other filly in the field who won the second elimination on the July 30 card.
Saratoga Live will present daily coverage and analysis of the summer meet at Saratoga Race Course on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/tv-schedule.
NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Saratoga Race Course, and the best way to bet every race of the summer meet. Available to horse players nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.
Cross Country Pick 5 – Saturday, August 6
Leg A: Meadowlands – Race 12, Hambletonian Oaks (4:41 p.m.)
Leg B: Saratoga – Race 9, G1 Longines Test (5:07 p.m.)
Leg C: Saratoga – Race 10, G1 Whitney (5:43 p.m.)
Leg D: Saratoga – Race 11, G1 Caesars Saratoga Derby Inv. (6:20 p.m.)
Leg E: Meadowlands – Race 15, Hambletonian (6:28 p.m.)