GoldMark Farm's Cross Traffic
will make his next start in the Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold
Cup on September 28 at Belmont Park, trainer Todd Pletcher confirmed on
impressive front-running winner of the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational
Handicap on August 3 at Saratoga, Cross Traffic also was being
considered for Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward.
Whitney and Woodward are run at 1 1/8 miles, while the Jockey Club Gold
Cup is contested at 1 ¼ miles, the same distance as the Breeders' Cup
Classic on November 2 at Santa Anita, which is Pletcher's primary goal
for the 4-year-old son of Unbridled's Song.
was a tough decision, but we're trying to figure out the best way to
get to the Breeders' Cup," said Pletcher. "We felt like bypassing [the
Woodward] and getting a mile and a quarter race five weeks out from the
Breeders' Cup Classic puts us in a better position than running a mile
and an eighth nine weeks out, and then possibly needing to run back in
the Jockey Club, as well. It was a tough call, but that's kind of what
it came down to."
Whitney was the longest race to date for Cross Traffic, who has posted
four consecutive triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures. Prior to the Whitney
(108), his first Grade 1 win, Cross Traffic ran second in the Grade 1
Metropolitan Handicap (110) and Grade 3 Westchester (116), beaten a nose
and a head, respectively. He earned a 105 for an optional claiming win
in March at Gulfstream Park.