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Pletcher "Very Strongly" Considering Woodward for Cross Traffic

A final decision has yet to be made regarding the next start for Cross Traffic, the impressive front-running winner of Saratoga’s Grade 1 Whitney Handicap Invitational on August 3.

Trainer Todd Pletcher said Monday morning that he is “very strongly” considering the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward on Saturday, run over the same track at an identical 1 1/8-mile distance as the Whitney.

“There’s a good chance he will be entered,” said Pletcher, who is also taking a look at the Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup, run at 1 ¼ miles on September 28 at Belmont Park, for the 4-year-old Unbridled’s Song colt.

“[The decision will be based on] what I think gives us the best chance to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic,” he said. “There’s a lot of variables. The horse is here, he’s doing well, he won the Whitney over the racetrack. He also ran very well at Belmont. I’d say it’s probably more likely that we run here than we won’t.”

Among Pletcher’s workers on Monday were 2-year-old fillies Sweet Whiskey and Stopchargingmaria, who are both headed to the Grade 1, $300,000 Spinaway on September 1. Working in company with Elena Strikes, Stopchargingmaria was clocked in 1:00.84 for five furlongs on the main track.

Working by herself, Sweet Whiskey blazed through a half-mile in 47.69 seconds, also on the main track, the fastest of 48 horses at the distance.

“[Sweet Whiskey] was impressive. I wasn’t surprised she did that,” said Pletcher. “She’s a pretty forward-training filly that’s pretty fast. She wasn’t being asked to do it; she was doing it because she was happy.”

Sweet Whiskey won her debut by 5 ¼ lengths on August 11 in 1:02.81 for 5 ½ furlongs, nearly two seconds faster than Stopchargingmaria ran winning her unveiling on July 19 by 5 ½ lengths, covering the same distance in 1:04.69.

“I thought that both fillies were very, very good,” said Pletcher. “I’m really pleased with the way they went, and we’re optimistic.”

Plans remain uncertain for 3-year-old filly Princess of Sylmar, a winner of three consecutive Grade 1 stakes – the Kentucky Oaks, TVG Coaching Club American Oaks, and Alabama, the latter at the Spa on August 17.

Races being considered include the Grade 1 Beldame Invitational at Belmont Park on September 28 against older horses going 1 1/8 miles, and Grade 1 at Parx Racing on September 21 against fellow three-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.

“Whatever we decide to do with Princess of Sylmar will be based on what’s best for Princess of Sylmar,” Pletcher said. “You can make a lot of pros for the Cotillion if you like, no question about it. It’s a short ship, but you still have to get on a van and go do it, as opposed to just walking out of your stall.”

Pletcher said Authenticity emerged from her runner-up finish to two-time champion Royal Delta in Sunday’s Grade 1 Personal Ensign in good shape, and that he is pointing both Corfu and All in Blue to the Grade 1, $300,000 Hopeful on September 2. A decision will be made on King Cyrus for the Hopeful after the WinStar Farm colt breezes Tuesday morning.

 

 

 

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