Silver Diamond Thoroughbreds' Wire Bound won the $100,000 Pete Axthelm Stakes for 3-year-olds at Calder Race Course on Saturday, defeating favored Caballero Negro by half a length. In a very close finish, More Bourb was a neck back in third.
Winner of the $75,000 Simply Majestic Stakes and the $40,000 Sir Omni overnight stakes at Calder earlier in the meet, the Florida-bred Wire Bound came from off the pace to close with a flourish. Jockey Eduardo Nunez rode the Hesabull gelding who broke from the far outside post at odds of 11-1 in a field of 12.
"He had trouble in each of his last two starts, more in the Calder Derby, and he didn't get the pace up front that he got today," noted winning trainer Manuel Criollo, who said they would go to the Sunshine Millions next. "He needs a good pace."
Wire Bound became Criollo's first stakes winner at Calder when he won the Simply Majestic Stakes in May. The former jockey trained the filly Light Dancer to win a division of the Lake George Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Saratoga in 2001.
Heart of Jules and Frisky Spider set a spritely (:22 1/5, :45) early pace, opening up several lengths on the field with Wire Bound racing in the midst of the second flight of horses. Nunez guided his mount to the outside and asked him for his run on the turn for home. Wire Bound completed the 7 ½ furlongs over firm turf in 1:27 4/5.
He paid $25.20, 12.20 and 6.20. Caballero Negro, the 3-1 choice ridden by Manoel Cruz, returned $6.00, 4.40; More Bourb paid $12.00 to show.
The owners of Silver Diamond Thoroughbreds are Harvey Lowenstein and Jay
Wire Bound was purchased privately as a 2-year-old after he failed to meet a reserve at the sales.