Cross Border adds Turfway’s Prairie Bayou to growing resume

Saturday, December 18th, 2021

Cross Border, two-time winner of the Grade 2 Bowling Green at Saratoga, added Turfway’s Prairie Bayou Stakes to his ledger Saturday. Coady Photography.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Popular New York-bred millionaire and multiple graded stakes winner Cross Border returned to the winner’s circle Saturday evening when he shipped to Turfway Park in Northern Kentucky for a victory in the $100,000 Prairie Bayou Stakes.

The tightly packed synthetic race saw Cross Border among the back markers only about 3 lengths off the leading Megacity through the first half of the 1 1/16-mile stakes. Megacity set fractions of :23.40, :47.45, and 1:12.00 as Cross Border happily raced widest of all under Alex Achard, just waiting for his time to shine.

That moment came around the far turn as Cross Border went widest of all and ranged up alongside the leaders. Achard never asked for Cross Border’s best with the English Channel gelding feeling just a few taps down the stretch. He coasted home under a hand ride in the final sixteenth to win by 1 3/4 lengths from Mr Dumas. Fellow New York-bred Hush of a Storm, winner of last year’s John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway, finished another 1 1/2 lengths back in third with 9-5 favorite Rushie fourth in the field of seven. Cross Border won in 1:43.89.

The Prairie Bayou was the fourth stakes victory and 11th stakes top-three finish for the multiple Grade 1-placed Cross Border, who is also a multiple Grade 2 winner.

Bred by Doug Koch’s Berkshire Stud and B. D. Gibbs and foaled at Berkshire Stud in Pine Plains, Cross Border has been a top-class runner for trainer Mike Maker and the Wycoff family’s Three Diamonds Farm since they purchased him for $100,000 at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July sale of selected horses of racing age.

Cross Border improved to eight wins and 10 other top-three finishes in 25 starts since that 2018 trip through the sales ring. He’s won 11 times with 13 other top-three finishes in 39 career starts for $1,087,929 in overall earnings.

Also a $180,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase before selling for $10,000 as a 2-year-old at the 2016 OBS June sale, Cross Border is one of three winners from three to race out of the Empire Maker mare Empress Josephine.

Empress Josephine is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes-winning New York-bred Private Emblem and multiple stakes winning New York-bred Rhum, who is the dam of leading New York sire Central Banker.

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