$63,716 Payout In Cross Country Pick 5 From Aqueduct, Tampa Bay Downs

Saturday’s Cross Country Pick 5 featuring a slate of all stakes from Aqueduct Racetrack and Tampa Bay Downs paid $63,716.50 for selecting all five winners for the 50-cent wager. The sequence’s total pool was $149,923.

Wall-to-wall stakes competition started with the Grade 2 Hillsborough for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up going nine furlongs in Race 9 at Tampa. Micheline rallied from third in the stretch to defeat Morning Molly by three-quarters of a length. The Michael Stidham trainee returned $11.20 on a $2 win wager, with Luis Saez calming his charge after she was reluctant to load but responded to firm handling to complete the course in 1:47.19.

Aqueduct got in on the action when Lake Avenue drew away to an impressive 6 3/4-length score in the Heavenly Prize for older fillies and mares going a one-turn mile in Race 8. The 4-5 favorite, trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, bested an eight-horse field, kicking away from runner-up Portal Creek to hit the wire in 1:39.25 under jockey Manny Franco. Lake Avenue paid $3.90.

Back at Tampa, Domain Expertise completed a thrilling run to best Jouster by a nose in the Grade 3, $200,000 Florida Oaks for sophomore fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Piloted by Antonio Gallardo, Domain Expertise ran down the favorite Jouster in the final jumps. Conditioned by Chad Brown, Domain Expertise [$12.80], registered a final time of 1:41.12.

Aqueduct closed its stakes action with the first of two “Road to the Kentucky Derby” prep races on the Cross Country Pick 5 docket, with Weyburn earning a big-price win at 46-1 for Jimmy Jerkens in the Grade 3 Gotham in Race 9 that had 50-20-10-5 points to the top-four finishers. Weyburn, ridden by Trevor McCarthy, captured 50 qualifying points when besting the Brown-trained Crowded Trade and Highly Motivated. Weyburn, who paid $95.50, edged Crowded Trade, off at 5-1, by a nose with 4-5 favorite Highly Motivated back in third. Freedom Fighter, a California shipper for Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, ran fourth.

Alternating back to Tampa, Helium soared in the Grade 2, $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby in Race 11. With 50-20-10-5 qualifying points also on the line, the son of Ironicus became his sire’s first graded stakes-winner, outkicking Hidden Stash by three-quarters of a length under Jose Ferrer. Trained by Hall of Famer Mark Casse, Helium rallied from 10th at the opening quarter-mile to pick up points for the “Run for the Roses,” returning $32.80 in the process. Moonlite Strike ran third and Unbridled Honor was fourth to also earn points.

The minimum bet for the multi-track, multi-race wager is 50 cents. Wagering on the Cross Country Pick 5 is also available on track, on ADW platforms, and at simulcast facilities across the country. Every week will feature a mandatory payout of the net pool.

The Cross Country Pick 5 will continue each Saturday throughout the year. For more information, visit NYRABets.com.

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