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Flat Out & Cross Traffic Earn Big Westchester Speed Figure

Flat Out Westchester 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Spotswire - Sue Kawczynski
Grade 3 Westchester victor Flat Out and runner-up Cross Traffic, who were separated by a head at the finish of Saturday’s one-mile race, both earned career-best Beyer Speed Figures of 115 for their thrilling efforts.

 

The 115 Beyer is the best in North America this year at races of a mile or less.

 

The 7-year-old Flat Out, who improved his Belmont Park record to 4-for-4 with the win, was caught in 1:32.99 at the wire after closing stoutly into fractions of 22.77, 45.33 and 1:08.87 set by Cross Traffic. The two-time Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup winner’s best previous Beyer was a 113 in the 2011 Suburban Handicap at Belmont.

 

Cross Traffic’s previous best Beyer was a 105, earned in his second start, a 7 1/2-length optional claiming win on March 10 at Gulfstream Park.

 

“He did everything right except win, and he still galloped out well, so that was good,” said Michael McCarthy, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, of the 4-year-old Cross Traffic. “He hung around on his left lead for a while [in the stretch], and when he switched to his right lead he jumped for about 8-10 strides, and I thought that was going to be enough to hold on against the Jockey Club Gold Cup winner, who obviously likes Belmont Park.”

 

Cross Traffic will likely be pointed next to the Grade 1, $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap on Memorial Day, May 27, at Belmont Park.

 

“Hopefully the Met Mile is in the cards for our horse,” said McCarthy. “We’ll see how he comes out of it, but he looked well here this morning.”

 

On Sunday morning, McCarthy sent out Alto Racing’s Peace Preserver for a half-mile work in 48.77 in preparation for a likely start in Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Beaugay at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

 

“She breezed well, and finished up full of run,” said McCarthy of Peace Preserver, who has won two of her three starts on the Belmont turf, including the 2012 Pebbles.

 

 

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