Whitney Invitational winner Cross Traffic
emerged from his first Grade 1 victory "very well," trainer Todd
Pletcher reported Sunday morning, with the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward on
August 31 likely as his next major target.
looked good this morning and seemed to take the race really well," said
Pletcher. "The Woodward is certainly a possibility, and if we decide we
need more time, the [Grade 1] Jockey Club Gold Cup [September 28,
Belmont Park] is a back-up plan."
win was important for a number of reasons, said Pletcher, not just to
validate Cross Traffic's efforts in the Grade 3 Westchester and the
Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, but also for his future at stud. The
4-year-old colt is by Unbridled's Song, who died last week, and out of
the stakes-winning mare Stop Traffic, a daughter of Cure the Blues who
won the Grade 1 Ballerina at the Spa in 1998.
think when you take a tough beat like he did in the Met, one side of
you thinks, 'Well, we'll get one of these,'" said Pletcher. "The other
side is, when you blow an opportunity, sometimes you never get it again.
I was happy for the horse; he ran two winning races at Belmont and lost
by five inches. So, it was nice to get a Grade 1 win for him. He's got a
real stallion's pedigree, and that's what you have to do, win races
like that to take it to the next level."
the Whitney, Cross Traffic led through an opening quarter-mile in 24.17
seconds, ran the second quarter in 23.11 and the third quarter in
22.96, with the race unfolding just as Pletcher and Hall of Fame jockey
John Velazquez had hoped.
"That's pretty impressive," said Pletcher. "You don't see that many sub-23's internally, especially in a dirt race.
put himself into the race right away," he added. "Every time they
turned up the pressure, he was able to turn it up another notch. It was a
perfect trip, but it was a self-produced perfect trip."
the Whitney part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In"
series, Cross Traffic now has an all-fees-paid entry into the Breeders'
Cup Classic at 1 ¼ miles, a distance Pletcher thinks is within the
I liked about the race yesterday, it looked like those horses were
gaining on him, but then you look at the gallop-out, and he's cleared
them again," he said. "It's all a function of pace and he showed
yesterday he's ratable, even though he was on the front end. The first
quarter showed he has speed, but he's not headstrong."
On Sunday morning, Pletcher sent out dual Grade 1 winner Princess of Sylmar
for a half-mile breeze in 49.60 seconds over the main track. The winner
of the Coaching Club American Oaks and the Kentucky Oaks could make her
next start in the Grade 1 Alabama on August 17.
of Sylmar worked dynamite this morning," he said. "I'm really, really
happy with her. We're hoping she maintains form for a couple more