How to bet the Cross Country Pick 5 on Nov. 20
Aqueduct Race 7: Allowance optional claiming (6 furlongs, 2:45 p.m. ET)
#4 Fair Regis (7-2) misfired against tougher company in the Iroquois S. last time out, but she’d previously cracked the trifecta in five straight open allowance optional claiming races. Dropping down to a slightly lower level while facing fellow New York-breds should trigger a rebound.
#1 Miss Jimmy (8-1) and #6 Puffery (6-1) are also worth including in this competitive field.
Churchill Downs Race 5: $15,000 maiden claiming (6 furlongs, 3:03 p.m. ET)
After finishing second and 10th in a pair of maiden special weight sprints at Keeneland and Churchill Downs, #10 Easy to Bless (5-2) is dropping into the maiden claiming ranks for hot trainer Mike Maker. Not only is Maker striking at a 24% rate at Churchill Downs, he wins at a 26% rate with runners transitioning from maiden special weight to maiden claiming company.
With hot jockey Tyler Gaffalione aboard, Easy to Bless looms as a logical single.
Aqueduct Race 8: $35,000 claiming (1 1/16 miles on turf, 3:17 p.m. ET)
#4 Dream Friend (6-5) is dropping down the class ladder after competing with aplomb against tougher company. Third in the 2019 Bernard Baruch H. (G2), the son of Ghostzapper has an abundance of tactical speed and should enjoy a comfortable trip setting or stalking a modest pace.
Since trainer John Terranova wins at a lofty 32% rate with horses dropping into the claiming ranks for the first time, we’ll make Dream Friend a short-priced single.
Churchill Downs Race 6: $40,000 claiming (6 furlongs, 3:36 p.m. ET)
The Grade 1-placed #6 Jalen Journey (5-2) is the morning line favorite, but the Steve Asmussen trainee failed to fire when returning from a 14-month layoff at Indiana Grand last month, finishing fifth in an allowance race.
There’s no guarantee Jalen Journey will bounce back even while descending into the claiming ranks, so let’s oppose him with #1 Moonoverseba (3-1), #2 Boyfriend Material (2-1), and #7 Ruler of the Nile (9-2). The latter boasts a 5-for-6 record over the Churchill Downs main track and picks up hot jockey Florent Geroux for his return to Louisville’s famous oval, setting the stage for a strong effort.
Aqueduct Race 9: Allowance (1 mile on turf, 3:47 p.m. ET)
This race looks absolutely wide-open on paper, and while I might concede a slight advantage to #10 Apurate (5-1)—an impressive maiden winner last time out for ultra-hot trainer Todd Pletcher—hitting the "ALL" button might be the best way to end the sequence.
$0.50-cent Cross Country Pick 5: 1,4,6 with 10 with 4 with 1,2,7 with ALL ($45)
$0.50-cent Cross Country Pick 5: 1,4,6 with 10 with 4 with 1,2,7 with 10 ($4.50)