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Fort Larned out of Woodward

Fort Larned, among the favorites for Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward at Saratoga Race Course, will be scratched from the race, said trainer Ian Wilkes.


"He worked great Monday morning and jogged and walked fine Tuesday and Wednesday," the trainer said of Fort Larned, most recently fifth in the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational Handicap. "This morning, he was not 100 percent in his training. He was a little off behind. It's not serious, possibly a pulled muscle, but when you are competing against horses on this level, you have to be 100 percent."


Wilkes said the next likely start for Fort Larned, winner of the 2012 Breeders' Cup Classic, would be the Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup on September 28 at Belmont Park.


"We'll wait for that and go from there," said Wilkes.


With the defection of Fort Larned, who had been expected to be on or close to the pace, Eric Donovan, oddsmaker for The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA), made Paynter the 2-1 favorite for the 1 1/8-mile race.


Successful Dan is 5-2, followed by Flat Out (3-1), Mucho Macho Man (9-2), Ron the Greek (8-1) and Alpha (12-1).


Along with the Grade 1 Forego and the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch, the Woodward it will be shown live on the NBC Sports Network.




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