Handicapping the Cross Country Pick 5 Sept. 19

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

September 18th, 2020

After a brief hiatus, the Cross Country Pick 5 returns to the wagering menu on Saturday. It's an all-turf affair and a challenging sequence, especially in the two legs that will be held at Belmont Park. Here's a look at how we'll play it.

Leg 1 -- Belmont Park Race 7 -- 4:08 p.m. ET

This juvenile filly maiden on the turf definitely a spread race ahead of time without seeing some of the early betting. #6 AMORTIZATION (7-2) from the Chad Brown barn and is by European star Kingman, a 21% turf debut sire in North America per Brisnet stats. Also giving a look to #9 ISLAND TREASURE (6-1) and #10 KERRY GIRL (9-2), both of whom are out of graded stakes-winning mares. #11 LILLY SIMONE (15-1) shows some positive works for Donk and is a half-sister to Vision Perfect, a juvenile turf stakes winner over this course. #13 GAMBLING CAT (12-1) another to consider if she gets in off the AE list as she's a Kitten's Joy full sister to multiple graded stakes winner Banned.

Leg 2 -- Woodbine Race 7 (Singspiel Stakes [G3]) -- 4:27 p.m. ET

With #3 Admiralty Pier reportedly to scratch in favor of the Woodbine Mile later in the card, that leaves defending titlist #7 TIZ A SLAM (6-1) as the potential lone speed in this 1 1/4-mile affair. However, his two runs this term have been no great shakes and it's possible he might not be quite as good this season. #8 COUNT AGAIN (20-1) makes his stakes debut here with a good record over the course and off a narrow loss in a 10-furlong prep when getting no help up front. Promising sort has looked a potential stakes-quality since his belated debut last fall at age four. #10 JUNGLE FIGHTER (12-1) is another light on stakes experience but credible over this course and distance. Worth a glance in this not-so-tough-looking Grade 3.

Leg 3 -- Monmouth Park Race 10 -- 4:41 p.m. ET

#8 BOLD DADDY (7-2) looms a threat to steal another in this starter handicap series after doing so going 9 furlongs last time. However, the extra quarter-mile might prove more to the benefit of  #7 HE WILL (4-1),who's run well here both tries this meet and was second best to Bold Daddy last out.

Leg 4 -- Belmont Park Race 9 -- 5:14 p.m. ET

#4 OPT (8-1) cuts back to the shortest race of his career after not getting much in the way of pace help going longer in two tries at Saratoga. Castellano continues to stick with him, perhaps a sign of confidence. #5 DR. SHANE (8-1) has spent most of the past two seasons facing open company, with reasonable success. Latest at the Spa probably too short and can potentially work out an ideal stalk-and-pounce trip over a course he's thrived over in the past.

Leg 5 -- Woodbine Race 9 (Woodbine Mile [G1]) -- 5:39 p.m. ET

An honest pace involving #6 Admiralty Pier and potentially #8 War of Will might benefit #1 MARCH TO THE ARCH (5-2), who is 2-for-2 over this course including a last-out score in the King Edward (G2) over this trip. We haven't yet seen the best of #7 VALUE PROPOSITION (6-1), who received no pace help whatsoever when last seen July 4 in the Poker (G3) at Belmont. Could be sitting on a big effort following two bullet drills in Saratoga.

The 50-cent pre-scratch ticket:

  • 6,9,10,11,13 with 7,8,10 with 7,8 with 4,5 with 1,7 = $60.