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Breeders Cup 2015
Royal Ascot 2017

Travers Next Go-Round for Palace Malice

Before heading to the airport, trainer Todd Pletcher was paid a brief visit by Cot Campbell, head of the Dogwood Stable syndicate that owns Palace Malice, who turned in a devastating performance Saturday in winning the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes by a length over Will Take Charge. The winning time of 1:47.37 was the second-fastest Jim Dandy since the race was moved to 1 1/8 miles in 1972.

 

Palace Malice, who won the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes in his prior start, earned a 107 Beyer Speed Figure for the Jim Dandy, the second-fastest number on dirt for a 3-year-old this year, behind only Dreaming of Julia's 114 in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks.

 

"I figured it was going to be good, a very solid time," Pletcher said. "He picked it up every step along the way. I was encouraged [Hall of Fame jockey] Mike [Smith] said he felt like he had something left. You hate to say it was a bigger performance than winning the Belmont, but it certainly looked that way."

 

Campbell, who received a round of applause when introduced to the crowd at Sunday workouts, was delighted by the victory.

 

"He seems to have come out fine, very feisty, feeling good, looking for peppermints; that's always a good sign," he said. "So, we're very pleased, and we'll start easing into the next go-round."

 

That next go-round is expected to be the Grade 1, $1 million Travers, the 1 ¼-mile centerpiece of the Saratoga meet on August 24.

 

Palace Malice now will attempt to become the only horse besides 1969 Horse of the Year Arts and Letters to win the Belmont, Jim Dandy and Travers. He became the first horse to win the Belmont and Jim Dandy since Conquistador Cielo in 1982.

 

Pletcher re-routed plans to work Grade 1 Whitney Invitational Handicap-bound Cross Traffic and star 3-year-old filly Dreaming of Juliaon the main track Sunday, and, instead, breezed both of them in a light rain over the Oklahoma training track.

 

Cross Traffic, a 4-year-old Goldmark Farm-owned son of the late Unbridled's Song, went five furlongs in 1:02.90, the second-fastest of seven works at the distance. He finished second in his most recent outing, beaten a nose by Sahara Sky in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park in only his fourth career start.

 

Dreaming of Julia, a Stonestreet Stables-owned daughter of A.P. Indy, recorded her first work since finishing second to runaway winner Close Hatches in the Grade 1 Mother Goose on June 22 at Belmont Park. She breezed four furlongs in 51.02, 16th-fastest of 35 at the distance on the work tab.

 

The 3-year-old Dreaming of Julia won the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks this year and the Grade 1 Frizette last fall at Belmont Park.

 

"They decided to back-rake the main track, so I called an audible and worked over here," Pletcher said. "I thought [Cross Traffic] went well. It was a good work, and we got what we were looking for out of it."

 

As for Dreaming of Julia, Pletcher said he had no objective in mind for her.

 

"Just her first work back," he said. "We were looking for an easy half and she did well. We're not thinking of anything; just getting her back to work."

 

Pletcher said multiple graded stakes winner Kauai Katie, last of six as the heavy favorite in the Grade 1 Prioress for 3-year-old fillies on Saturday, lost her right front shoe in the race.

 

"That's the only thing we could come up with," he said of the performance.

 

 

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