Handicapping the Cross Country Pick 5 for April 10

April 10th, 2021

Saturday's Cross Country Pick 5 largely consists of stakes at Aqueduct, Keeneland, and Oaklawn Park, but kicks off with a first-level allowance for older horses at the Big A. Here's a look at how we're attacking the sequence.

Leg A -- Aqueduct Race 7 -- 4:42 p.m. ET

Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out two serious contenders in here, starting with #2 TEXAS SWING (8-1), who was thought enough of last season to be thrown into the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) off a maiden win. He finished a decent third given his inexperience at the time. Pletcher's other entrant is #7 ARHAM (3-1), a relatively late bloomer who, as a son of Union Rags, won't mind the stretchout to a mile here. #1 KID BOURBON (10-1), despite some so-so form at Gulfstream of late, has run well here in the past and might appreciate the return to this oval. He also has a recency edge over the Pletcher pair.

Leg B -- Keeneland Race 8 -- 4:57 p.m. ET

#1 INTO MYSTIC (2-1) and #3 ELLE Z (7-2) developed quite a rivalry at the Fair Grounds over the winter and own a bit of a class edge over most of these in this renewal of the Giant's Causeway S. #6 A BIT OF BOTH (8-1) won her only previous start here and could be one of several potential beneficiaries of a contested pace.

Leg C -- Aqueduct Race 8 -- 5:19 p.m. ET

Although he's developed a reputation for falling short on some bigger stages when well-backed, the Danger's Hour S. appears to be a good comeback spot for #7 ANALYZE IT (7-5). But fellow Chad Brown stablemate #8 DELAWARE (10-1) is intriguing off his narrow loss in the Artie Schiller S. over this course and distance last fall in what was his best performance since coming to the U.S. Brown and jockey Manny Franco form a potent combo in the latter's corner for this renewal of the Danger's Hour S.

Leg D -- Keeneland Race 9 -- 5:30 p.m. ET

We'll fade the likely favorite, Proxy, in this edition of the Lexington S. (G3) and instead look to #2 SWIFTSURE (5-1), who handily won his first two outings at the Fair Grounds and Oaklawn. He seems confidently placed here by trainer Steve Asmussen. Lots of potential for this son of Uncle Mo. #6 HOCKEY DAD (8-1), who like Proxy is trying to be one of the final horses to qualify for the Kentucky Derby (G1), ran well in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway despite a bit of a wide trip and inexperience with a synthetic surface. He could prove better in his return to dirt, over which his sire won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1).

Leg E -- Oaklawn Park Race 9 -- 5:49 p.m. ET

#6 BY MY STANDARDS (5-2) is the obvious class of the field, but the way he ended his 2020 campaign leaves some cause for pause in this edition of the Oaklawn Mile. #4 RUSHIE (3-1), despite being outrun against better in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1), enters with a strong string of works and fits these conditions very well for his season debut.

Here's the 50-cent ticket:

  • 1,2,7 with 1,3,6 with 7,8 with 2,6 with 4,6 = $36.