Handicapping the Cross Country Pick 5 for Nov. 21

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

November 20th, 2020

Races from Aqueduct and Churchill Downs will comprise the Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday.

Cross Country 50-Cent Ticket

  • 3,5,7,8 with 4,8,10 with 4,7,8 with 7 with 2,3,4 = $54

Leg 1 -- Aqueduct Race 8 (3:17 p.m. ET)

A 6-furlong dash on the dirt for state-bred runners gets things underway. Nine have been entered, led by horse to beat #7 Saratoga Pal (8-5). Englehart trainee has fine current form, but his 3-0-0-0 mark on the surface makes him a bit vulnerable in my opinion.

Finger Lakes shipper #3 Wow Brown (5-1), #5 Jemography (3-1), and the speedy #8 Riken (6-1) makes it four-deep in the opener.

Leg 2 -- Aqueduct Race 9 (3:45 p.m. ET)

Defending champ #4 Sadler’s Joy (8-5) is a must use in the $100,000 Red Smith (G3), but he might not be the greatest single of all time.

#10 Red Knight (5-2) is in fine form and wouldn’t be a surprise for Mott, nor would #8 Ziyad (9-2). I feel that the three most logical contenders will get me through to the next leg.

Leg 3 -- Churchill Downs Race 7 (4:06 p.m. ET)

Optional claiming dash for fillies and mares will see nine go postward. #7 Kiffle (5-2) was sharp in her local debut when leading at every call and looms large for Hess.

#8 Just Fly (7-2) was an 11-length winner on the course two back, and the chestnut has been on a roll since removing blinkers. She will be dangerous from the start. I also think that #4 Radiantrithym (10-1) is live at a number from slightly off the pace. The Danner claim comes in fresh and has won or placed in each of her three previous attempts beneath the Twin Spires.

Leg 4 -- Aqueduct Race 10 (4:13 p.m. ET)

Maiden claiming tilt on the green lacks a standout, and I am going to make an aggressive single in the most winnable grassy endeavor. #7 Open Lengths (10-1) tries the lawn for the initial time for heady turf conditioner George Weaver. Dark bay son of Lea didn’t handle the sloppy going last time out, but a move to the turf combined with the addition of blinkers makes the sophomore intriguing at a price.

Leg 5 -- Churchill Downs Race 9 (5:06 p.m. ET)

The $100,000 Chilukki (G3) concludes the sequence and draws nine fillies and mares in a solid field. #4 Whoa Nellie (4-1) is my top play for conditioner Larry Jones.

In addition to the bay, I will also add #2 Finite (8-5) and Raven Run (G2) third #3 Grand Cru Classe (5-2).