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Palace Malice, Verrazano Fine After Travers

Trainer Todd Pletcher reported Sunday morning that Grade 1 Travers favorite Verrazano and second choice Palace Malice returned from their respective seventh- and fourth-place finishes in good order, and that a decision on their next starts would not be forthcoming for a few days.

 

"We're disappointed," Pletcher said. "Any time after a race, you don't only look at that race but their entire body of work. As far as their next starts, we have no firm plans. We'll wait a few days and talk it over with Mr. [Cot] Campbell and the other connections before we make any decisions."

 

While Palace Malice wound up beaten less than a length after stumbling at the start, Pletcher could offer no excuse for Verrazano, winner of the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Race Track and the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.

 

"[Verrazano] is still 6-for-8 and a multiple Grade 1 winner," he said of the More Than Ready colt. "We're disappointed in yesterday's performance but we're not disappointed in the horse. I can't offer much excuse. I thought he was in a very good tactical position. [But] when Johnny [Velazquez] needed him to start picking it up around the half-mile pole, he just didn't have the response we were looking for."

 

"[With Palace Malice], we weren't planning on being last going into the first turn behind a dawdling pace," he said of the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes and Grade 2 Jim Dandy winner. "I thought he had a winning race in him. Unfortunately, the start did not go well. Once that happened we were in a completely different spot than we anticipated being. Unfortunately, he came up a length short. For a number of reasons, the bad start was compromising. When you tack on the fact they didn't go very fast up front, I thought he ran a great race, considering all that."

 

The Pletcher barn was far from empty-handed Saturday, as Capo Bastone took advantage of torrid early fractions and came from 10th to upset the Grade 1, $500,000 Foxwoods King's Bishop at 28-1.

 

"We were hoping we would get a favorable pace set-up," Pletcher said. "We felt like the horse was training very well into it. Based on the strength of his training, we thought we'd take a shot, and it worked out."

 

Among those on the main track worktab for Pletcher on Sunday were 2012 Champion Two-Year-Old Male Shanghai Bobby, who worked five furlongs 1:00.91 in company with Graydar, and Grade 1 Whitney Invitational Handicap winner Cross Traffic, who went a half-mile in 48.19.

 

"Shanghai continues to go great," he said. "We're still a month or so away, but I like what we're seeing so far. He's coming back and getting fit a week or so ahead of what we anticipated. We're really pleased with him and happy to have him back.

 

"Cross Traffic also went well," he added. "We'll make a decision tomorrow or the next day on whether he'll run in the [Grade 1, $750,000] Woodward [on Saturday]."

 

 

 

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