The New York Racing Association Inc. (NYRA) will host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday featuring turf racing from Belmont Park and a trio of graded stakes from Monmouth Park’s Haskell Preview Day as Hot Rod Charlie returns in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile.
Free Equibase past performances for the Cross Country Pick 5 sequence are now available for download at https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/cross-country-wagers.
The sequence kicks off in Race 7 at Belmont Park at 4:06 p.m. with field of 10 sophomores contesting 1 1/16-miles over the inner turf led by Merci, a maiden winner for conditioner Christophe Clement. The Noble Mission bay graduated at first asking in February at Tampa Bay Downs and followed with a closing fourth in a 1 1/16-mile allowance on April 16 at Keeneland. Chad Brown sends out a pair of starters in Fighter in the Win, who makes his stateside debut; and Credit Event, who was favored in the aforementioned race at Keeneland and was blocked behind rivals in upper stretch, finishing tenth. Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher saddles maiden winners Analogy and Beauty Amazed in a field of many chances. Four horses have entered for the main-track only.
Action switches to Monmouth for the second leg, the Grade 3 Eatontown [Race 11, 4:47 p.m.], a 1 1/16-mile turf test for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up. Vigilantes Way will look to defend her title for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey against a pair of talented multiple group/graded stakes winners for Brown in Lemista and Fluffy Socks.
The third leg at Belmont [Race 9, 5:12 p.m.] will see a field of 12 state-breds 3-years-old and up battle seven furlongs over the Widener turf. Missionatthespa is a five-time winner trained by Chuck Lawrence, who enters from a pacesetting third in a one-mile state-bred allowance at Belmont. The runner-up of that event, the late-closing Mr. Kringle, also returns for conditioner John Terranova. Forty Two Ace, a first-time gelding, will look to win off-the-bench in his turf debut having not been seen since an off-the-board effort in March at Aqueduct.
The penultimate leg will see a dozen 3-year-olds and up line up in a nine-furlong turf test in the Grade 3 Monmouth [Race 13, 5:47 p.m.] led by the Brown-trained Sacred Life, who captured the Grade 3 Knickerbocker last year at Belmont. Brown is also represented by multiple graded-stakes winner Public Sector, who is cross-entered in Saturday’s Grade 3 Poker at Belmont.
Canadian Classic winner Safe Conduct offers pace and stamina for conditioner Phil Serpe, while six-time winner Yes This Time will look to add to a ledger that includes a score in the Grade 3 Kent over soft turf in July at Delaware Park.
Closing out the sequence is the return of Grade 1-winning multimillionaire Hot Rod Charlie in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile [Race 14, 6:15 p.m.] as he headlines a field of seven 3-year-olds and up in his first appearance since a runner-up effort in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup. The 4-year-old Oxbow colt crossed the wire first in last year’s Grade 1 Haskell but was disqualified and placed seventh after drifting in during the stretch run. He made amends by following with a score in the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby. Steep opposition will be provided by multiple Grade 1-winner Mind Control; and Shirl’s Speight, a Grade 1-winner on turf for Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield.
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the spring/summer meet at Belmont Park on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/tv-schedule.
NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Belmont Park, and the best way to bet every race of the spring/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, June 18:
Leg A: Belmont – Race 7, optional-claimer (4:06 p.m.)
Leg B: Monmouth – Race 11, G3 Eatontown (4:47 p.m.)
Leg C: Belmont – Race 9, allowance (5:12 p.m.)
Leg D: Monmouth – Race 13, G3 Monmouth (5:47 p.m.)
Leg E: Monmouth – Race 14, G3 Salvator Mile (6:15 p.m.)