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Palace Malice, Verrazano Set for Travers

Grade 1 winners Palace Malice and Verrazano each emerged from their final works for Saturday's Grade 1 Travers in good shape, trainer Todd Pletcher said Monday.

Dogwood Stables' Palace Malice breezed a half-mile in 48.21 seconds, and Let's Go Stable, Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith's Verrazano went the same distance in 48.65, both Sunday on the main track.

"They are doing excellent," Pletcher said. "Both horses are in very good shape."

Entries will be taken and post positions drawn for the Travers on Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the Saratoga paddock.

Among the horses breezing for Pletcher on Monday were Authenticity, pointing for Sunday's Grade 1, $600,000 Personal Ensign Invitational; and Elena Strikes and Stopchargingmaria, both targeting the Grade 1, $300,000 Spinaway on September 1.

Authenticity was clocked in 49.65 seconds for a half-mile on the main track, while Elena Strikes and Stopchargingmaria both went five furlongs in 1:01.25 on the Oklahoma training track.

"I thought Authenticity was very good," Pletcher said. "She seems to be coming up to this race very well. I think her last two races have been exceptional. I'm just really pleased with her.

"Both fillies [Elena Strikes and Stophchargingmaria] worked very well, and both seem to be coming up to the race in good shape, with one more breeze to go," he added.

Pletcher indicated that Sweet Whiskey, a 5 ¼-length debut winner at the Spa on August 11, is also being considered for the seven-furlong Spinaway.

All in Blue, who broke his maiden at Belmont Park July 4 and ran fourth in the Grade 2 Sanford at Saratoga on July 21, both on dirt, breezed a half-mile in 48.07 seconds over the Oklahoma training track turf, ranking fifth of 48 horses.

Pletcher is keeping his options open for All in Blue, including the Grade 2, $200,000 With Anticipation on the grass August 29, and the Grade 1, $300,000 Hopeful on dirt September 2.

"There's a chance he'll go in the With Anticipation. There's a chance he'll go in the Hopeful," Pletcher said. "I thought he breezed well on the grass today. He's by More Than Ready, and he's got turf on the bottom side of his pedigree, but he has also worked very well on the dirt. We'll just play it by ear."

 

 

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