American Sailor
Trifor Gold before the Sussex. Photo by Mike Valiante.

Talk about saving your best for when it counts most.

Trifor Gold had run twice on the turf prior to Thursday’s $50,000 Sussex Stakes for Delaware-bred or -certified three-year-olds and up at Delaware Park and finished out of the money both times.

But Thursday he found the range, grabbing the lead on the backside and just holding off the cavalry to win by a nose.

It was the first stakes win of Trifor Gold’s career. He’s now won four of 27 career starts while earning $184,059.

Under jockey Angel Suarez, aboard for the third consecutive outing, Trifor Gold was just off the early zip of Samedi Night, with the latter leading by a half-length in 23.53 seconds for the opening marker. After a half-mile, they’d switched positions — Samedi Night would tire to sixth — with Trifor Gold posting a time of 46.20 seconds for four panels.

Arriving at the head of the lane, it seemed Trifor Gold would get swallowed up as a number of rivals loomed threats. But he found another gear, surging two lengths clear before favored Cannon’s Roar mounted one last rally along the outside and Indian Lake surged along the rail.

In the end Trifor Gold held off Cannon’s Roar by just a nose, with Indian Lake, who galloped out best of all, three parts of a length farther back in third. Running time for the 7 1/2 furlongs over firm turf was 1:29.19.

Trifor Gold paid $16.80 to win and topped an exacta that returned $25.00 for a buck wager.

Trifor Gold is a five-year-old gelding by Tritap. The Maryland-bred is a homebred for Copper Penny Stables and is trained by Mark Shuman.