As a juvenile in 1982 Sunny’s Halo won a Sovereign Award, capturing two of the most important events for two-year-olds, the Coronation Futurity and Grey Stakes, as well as the Colin and Swynford Stakes. Stress fractures in both front shins prompted Cross to halt his season and that winter the colt was shipped to Hollywood, Calif., where he embarked on a program that Cross hoped would lead to the Derby. After giving “Sunny” sufficient stall rest he began an almost daily routine of swimming the colt in the backstretch equine pool, building up the much needed muscle tone and stamina without putting pressure on the colt’s still healing shins.
Sunny’s Halo was just one of many major winners (eight in graded stakes races) that Cross trained during a career that goes back to the 1940s when he began “walking hots” at Vancouver-area tracks. Classic Cat won the Lexington Stakes, Ohio Derby and Remington Park Derby and finished third in the 1998 Preakness. Cross’s other stakes winners in the U.S. include Dianes Halo, Quintana, Code Love and Majestical Moment.
He saddled his first winner at Longacres, Wash., in 1957. His career then took him to Arizona, New England, Florida and New Orleans before heading to Woodbine. In Canada he won the Dominion Day, Marine and Wood-stock Stakes with Big Destiny; the Display and Autumn Stakes with Decent Davey and the Fury and Bison City Stakes with Snow Game. Some of his other stakes winners include Loving Laura, Lady Shooter, Empiric, Arc ‘o Fire, Admiral JB, Joe Flats, Royal Farm and Pugnacious.
In 2007 Cross was employed at a farm in Hillsburgh, Ont., breaking yearlings and preparing horses for the races. He occasionally saddled a winner for clients.