The $20 million Saudi Cup, a.k.a. the world’s richest race, opens this week’s opportunity for horseplayers to get rich via the New York Racing Association’s Cross Country Pick 5.
This week’s five-race sequence takes on a cross-global flavor. It features races from the home of the Saudi Cup — King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh — along with Aqueduct and Oaklawn Park.
This week’s sequence offers three stakes races: the Saudi Cup in Leg A, the ungraded Stymie Stakes from Aqueduct (Leg C) and the finale: the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes from Oaklawn.
It begins halfway across the world, at the Group 1 Saudi Cup, where you find an eclectic, international 14-horse field. There, you’ll find defending champion Mishriff, who upset Knicks Go and Charlatan in last year’s second running. Waiting for him is newly minted Kentucky Derby champion Mandaloun and his persistent rival Midnight Bourbon.
Remember Risk Taking? He’s here for the taking
Another large field tests bettors in the Cross Country Pick 5’s second leg: a deep, one-turn mile, allowance optional claimer at Aqueduct. The 13-horse field includes 2021 Withers Champion and Triple Crown trail runner Risk Taking. Trained by Chad Brown, Risk Taking is 2-for-3 at Aqueduct. He takes on stablemate Sound Money, coming off a winning allowance outing that came with a 97 Beyer Speed Figure.
Multiple stakes winner Captain Bombastic and graded stakes-placed Too Boss await both Brown charges.
The third leg stays at the Big A for the Stymie Stakes. Graded stakes winner Green Light Go is the favorite for this one-turn mile. He comes in off a nine-length dismantling of an allowance field that produced a career-best 101 Beyer. His chief challenge comes from Todd Pletcher’s Waxman, coming in off his nine-length allowance victory at Aqueduct.
Cross Country Pick 5 promises a Palace Coup
Oaklawn provides the last two legs of this Cross Country Pick 5. The first of those is an allowance mile testing horseplayers with a 12-horse field. Here, the options are plentiful, starting with four-time winner Palace Coup. We last saw him finishing second in an Oaklawn allowance.
Behind him, there’s Prioritization, arriving off his recent allowance win, and the consistent Pats Property, who missed the board once (2-2-0) in five starts.
Wrapping up the Cross Country Pick 5 is this week’s top Kentucky Derby prep: the $1 million Rebel Stakes. While bettors are parsing whether to use up a precious single with undefeated Bob Baffert charge Newgrange, upset candidates Barber Road, Un Ojo and Stellar Tap warrant consideration.
NYRA Cross Country Pick 5
|Leg A||King Abdulaziz Racetrack||Saudi Cup (G1)||12:40 p.m.|
|Leg B||Aqueduct Racetrack||Allowance||3;57 p.m.|
|Leg C||Aqueduct Racetrack||Stymie Stakes||4:30 p.m.|
|Leg D||Oaklawn Park||Allowance||5:18 p.m.|
|Leg E||Oaklawn Park||Rebel Stakes (G2)||6:22 p.m.|
Newgrange won the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita and the Grade 3 Southwest, the prep for the Rebel. Barber Road finished second in the Southwest, and Un Ojo second in the Grade 3 Withers at Aqueduct.
The Cross Country Pick 5 comes with a 50-cent minimum and 15% takeout. It’s available on ADW platforms and simulcast centers around the country. Every weekly wager comes with a mandatory payout of the net pool.
NYRA offers free Equibase past performances for all Cross Country Pick 5 runners here.