up and wait. With two days left until the 144th renewal of the Travers
Stakes, that's all trainer Todd Pletcher can do when it comes to Verrazano and Palace Malice, the top two program favorites for Saturday's Grade 1, $1 million "Mid-Summer Derby."
said Thursday that Verrazano, 2-1 on the morning line, and Palace
Malice, at 5-2, each continue to head into the 1 ¼-mile 'Mid-Summer
Derby' in top order.
"Both of them had very good mornings today," Pletcher said. "Galloped without incident. We're pleased with both of them.
think whenever you train horses," he added, "you have a tendency to
worry about everything, but when you have horses that are doing as well
as these two horses, you just hope for no bad luck and try to do all the
things you do every day ... try to keep them relaxed and settled and
safe, and that's really it. We're just really, really happy with both of
them, so you're left just kind of waiting."
has won six of seven starts including his past two - the Grade 3
Pegasus and Grade 1 Haskell Invitational - by 19 combined lengths.
Palace Malice has strung together professional wins in the Grade 1
Belmont Stakes and Grade 2 Jim Dandy.
Following Wednesday's post-position draw for the Travers, Pletcher schooled both colts in the paddock, where the draw was held.
waited a little bit because we didn't want to be up there during the
draw itself but when we got there, there was still some residual people
left over from the draw," Pletcher said. "We like to do it because it
doesn't disrupt their routine much. They get their breakfast at 10:30
and then go over at 11:30.
of those horses schooled three days before they ran the last time.
Neither one of them are the type of horses that need a lot of paddock
schooling but, once again, it's just covering your bases. They both
stood at the gate last week and that went smoothly. We like to do that
leading up to big races just as an insurance policy, basically."