08/19/2007 12:00AM

Crossing the Line fires big


DEL MAR, Calif.-Crossing the Line unleashed a rally at the top of the stretch of Sunday’s $400,000 Del Mar Mile that carried him to the winner’s circle – and possibly to the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Monmouth Park on Oct. 27.

Crossing the Line won the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile by three-quarters of a length over Becrux, finishing a mile on turf in 1:32.59. With the victory, he earned an automatic berth to the BC Mile, if the partnership that owns the 5-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding chooses to pay a supplemental fee.

Crossing the Line’s late kick, which carried him from seventh to the front in the final quarter-mile, left jockey Garrett Gomez impressed. Gomez had Crossing the Line in eighth place for the first half-mile.

“I could feel him building up underneath me,” Gomez said. “I knew he had a turn of foot. He really impressed me.”

Crossing the Line rallied five wide to reach the front in the final sixteenth. Becrux finished a length in front of Isipingo in the field of nine. Out of Control, the 8-5 favorite, finished sixth after leading in the stretch.

Crossing the Line made his stakes debut in the Del Mar Mile. Trained by John Sadler, Crossing the Line has won 5 of 6 starts and $257,168. Sadler said the $250,000 Oak Tree Mile at Santa Anita on Oct. 7 was a likely start before a decision is made on the BC Mile.

* Silky Smooth won her California debut in the $89,275 Viejas Casino Handicap for 3-year-old fillies, running a mile on turf in 1:34.60.

Ridden by Aaron Gryder, Silky Smooth ($5.20) was third early and reached the front with a three-wide move on the turn. Honored Gold, beaten a half-length, finished second and was a half-length in front of Nootka Island.

Owned by E.K. Gaylord II and trained by Jeff Mullins, Silky Smooth has won 3 of 10 starts and $200,052. She won the Alywow Stakes at Woodbine in June.