Aged Cross Border still in form in Cape Henlopen win
Three Diamonds Farm’s Cross Border posted an 8-1 upset victory in the $200,000 Cape Henlopen Stakes at Delaware Park Saturday at Delaware Park, running down favored Tawny Port, who led throughout until inside the final eighth of a mile.
With Ruben Silvera aboard, the 9-year-old Cross Border, a ridgling by English Channel, won by 2 1/2-lengths and returned $18.00 even as the fourth choice in the field of eight. The even-money favorite Tawny Port, with Trevor McCarthy, finished second. It was a 3 1/4-lengths farther back to Tough Tickets, with Dexter Haddock, in third. The final time was 2:33.31 for a mile-and-a-half over a firm turf course.
Tawny Port controlled the early fractions, setting a tepid tempo while maintaining a clear lead throughout. Entering the backstretch, McCarthy asked his mount, trained by Christophe Clement, to open up. But the move netted him little greater advantage.
Nearing the lane, several pursuers loomed, and it was Cross Border, widest of all, who had the momentum to win.
“He really ran his own race,” said winning rider Ruben Silvera. “I tried to save ground with him and when I saw the horses coming back to me, I put him into gear. He really responded and closed strong.”
The last victory for Cross Border was over the hurdles at Aiken on March 25 and his last flat racing victory was in the Prairie Bayou at Turfway Park on December 18, 2021. The New York-bred trained by Michael Maker has been Graded stakes placed multiple times in his career including a victory in the Grade II Bowling Green at Saratoga on July 31, 2021. The Cape Henlopen victory raised his career record to 12 wins from 52 starts with earnings of $1,333,258.
“I kind of expected it,” said assistant trainer Nolan Ramsey. “He always shows up, consistent as they come. It was a great ride by Ruben, and the pieces fell into place.”
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