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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Three Diamonds Farm’s Cross Border was named the winner following Sadler’s Joy disqualification from winning Saturday’s $250,000 Bowling Green Stakes (G2) at Saratoga.
Cross Border was the 2/1 second choice as he broke from post 2 under Jose Ortiz. His Mike Maker stablemate Marzo (also sporting the Three Diamonds Farm silks) held a lengthy early lead, posting opening fractions of :25.30, :50.38, and 1:15.68.
Marzo’s advantage disappeared heading into the far turn as the cavalry commenced a charge. Sadler’s Joy (the 8/5 favorite) and was on the outside of Cross Border as the two commenced a rally from near the rear.
Sadler’s Joy drifted in at the 1/8 pole and made contact with Cross Border, which caused a chain reaction that also knocked Channel Maker off stride. Sadler’s Joy straightened out and held sway to cross first by a neck, completing the 1 3/8-mile firm inner turf route in a final time of 2:14.77.
A rare triple objection from jockey, trainer, and the stewards ultimately led to Sadler’s Joy being disqualified and placed fourth behind Channel Maker.
With the new placings, Highland Sky was made second ahead of Channel Maker. Marzo and Dot Matrix remained in fifth and sixth, respectively, to complete the order of finish.
“We weren’t sure which horse would be the pacesetter, but Marzo coming off the layoff was up there,” Maker said. “I thought Marzo ran an incredible race. When it comes down to a street fight, Cross Border is awfully tough.”
Pillar Mountain was scratched.
Cross Border’s win was his first at the graded level and followed his local Luash Stakes score against fellow New York-breds just 10 days ago. The 6-year-old English Channel ridgling improved his record to 26-9-5-1 with $534,471 earned.
“This is just a gutsy New York-bred and it’s good for the game that they can breed a New York-bred that can win a Grade 2 at Saratoga,” said Three Diamonds Farm owner Kirk Wycoff. “We love the Bowling Green. We were second in it three years ago with Bigger Picture. It was a calculated risk to come back in 10 days and we weren’t all in agreement, but Mike Maker made the decision, and obviously it was the right one.”
Cross Border returned $6.40 to win, $4.20 to place, and $3 to show. Highland Sky brought back $13.60 to place and $6 to show, while Channel Maker paid $3.80 to show.
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