Handicapping the Cross Country Pick 5 for May 8
Multi-race bettors who like turf racing should find some appeal in Saturday's Cross Country Pick 5, a sequence that features four grass races at Churchill Downs and Belmont Park.
The middle leg is on Churchill's main track and includes a horse many are likely to single.
Leg 1: Churchill Downs, Race 8, 4:22 p.m. ET
This entry-level allowance for three-year-old fillies has several entrants with either decent form in stakes or against stakes-quality opponents.
#13 World Tour (3-1) was narrowly beaten as the public choice in the Sanibel Island S. at Gulfstream last time out and looms an obvious threat if she gets in off the also-eligible list.
Stakes-placed #12 Flown (4-1) didn't get the best of trips in the Appalachian (G2), following her winter break, and will add Lasix, while #10 Gam's Mission (5-1) finished second to Aunt Pearl on debut and returned from a long layoff to narrowly graduate at Fair Grounds on March 21, against a next-out winner.
Leg 2: Belmont Park, Race 8, 4:38 p.m. ET
#8 Palamos (3-1) most recently finished second at this level in November at Aqueduct, where she ran into subsequent Grade 3 winner Counterparty Risk.
In a field with less-experienced rivals, she looks like the one to beat off the bench.
#7 Infinite Potential (9-2) is perhaps the less backed of the Chad Brown pair, as she'll make a belated debut at age four. Her siblings haven't panned out yet, though her dam is closely related to several Group 1 types.
Another late arrival to the races is #6 Colombe D' Oro (8-1), who has shown a bit of speed in the morning and will go for the potent combo of Shug McGaughey and Jose Ortiz.
Leg 3: Churchill Downs, Race 9, 4:55 p.m. ET
#1 Crystal Ball (6-5), by virtue of her early foot, inside draw, and narrow loss last summer in a soft renewal of the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), looms the one to beat at a short price for trainer Bob Baffert.
Leg 4: Churchill Downs, Race 10, 5:26 p.m. ET
Trainer Wesley Ward will run three in this edition of the $110,000 Mamzelle S., but only two of his will suffice for inclusion on the ticket.
#4 Wink (3-1) is unbeaten on U.S. soil and narrowly lost a Group 3 at Longchamp in her only other start, while #7 Amanzi Yimpilo (6-1) bears watching, after she defeated males at Santa Anita last time out.
#2 Goin' Good (7-2), a close second in both stakes appearances, will be on the scene late and is one to fear if the fractions get too heated for the speed.
Leg 5: Belmont Park, Race 10, 5:44 p.m. ET
He might be better suited for next month's Manhattan (G1), but #8 Gufo (2-1) owns a powerful closing kick and figures to be dangerous off the bench in this edition of the Man o' War (G1) over 1 3/8 miles.
His only losses last season were to Domestic Spending, the dead-heat winner of the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (G1) last week.
#3 Ziyad (6-1), who narrowly missed in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (G1) on two different occasions, has finished third in all three prior tries in North America and has also shown some early foot in the past, which might serve him well in a race lacking pace.
50-cent Cross Country Pick 5: 10,12,13 with 6,7,8 with 1 with 2,4,7 with 3,8 ($27)