06/17/2013 4:44PM

Belmont Park: Cross Traffic to run in Whitney

Barbara D. Livingston
Cross Traffic will face another talented front-runner in Fort Larned in the Whitney Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 3.

ELMONT, N.Y. – An intriguing matchup is looming in the Grade 1 Whitney on Aug. 3 at Saratoga between defending Whitney Handicap winner Fort Larned and the speedy Cross Traffic.

Fort Larned, who won last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic in front-running fashion, reverted back to his front-running ways Saturday night in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster and scored an impressive 6 1/4-length victory at Churchill Downs.

Fort Larned, trained by Ian Wilkes, is being pointed to the Whitney, where he will face the speedy Cross Traffic, who suffered heart-breaking defeats in both the Westchester and Metropolitan Handicaps after setting very fast early fractions.

“It’ll be a situation where something’s got to give the first part of the race,” said Todd Pletcher, who trains Cross Traffic. “Our horse has been running 44-and-change fractions; I don’t see taking back too much.”

Pletcher said Cross Traffic likely will have his first work since the Metropolitan Handicap this weekend at Belmont before shipping to Saratoga.

Big Bob More than 1 year ago
Hopefully there are more than 6 in the race, I would assume Paynter goes for the California races. As for Cross Traffic, if he does go out in 44 and change I would think FL would stalk about 3-5 lengths back and make a move coming of the turn like he did in last years Whitney.
Edward More than 1 year ago
So who is Pletcher's closer? Cross Traffic just got run down twice at a mile, no way Pletcher doesn't have another entry.
RockaFelter21 More than 1 year ago
good call this horse can run a distance for fun ..only p[roblem fort larned and him might hook up..this horse is not a sprinter obv a miler but can easily go distance if not pressed
gallopingtom More than 1 year ago
Running in the Whitney must be the owners decision. Sounds to competitive for it to be Pletcher's decision.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Watch the grade 1 met mile. This horse is as game and fast as they come .
jttf More than 1 year ago
the next 3 months, the pletcher barn will maximize its attention on the 2 year olds. the 3,4,and 5 year old male horses tend to be ignored. i think stay thirsty is his only male horse to be successful since 2008, during this time period. loved cross traffic's last race, but he wont be worth the odds.
Mark More than 1 year ago
He was 3-1 in met . I expect similar with the BC classic winner in the race off of a complete freak job . Pletcher is on top of his game and all his horses 24/7/365.
Bryan E More than 1 year ago
3-1 wasn't really great odds for 2nd place.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Umm he was 3-1 second choice. He ran second . Flat Out 5-2 first choice.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Umm he was 3-1 second choice and finished second. Flat Out was 5-2 favorite.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Come on. Graydar is rehabbing so try this Guy....if CT tries 1 1/4 he will break too. And Paynter probably will not go from a 7/8 allowance to a 1 1/4 Grade 1 across country after all he has endured. Maybe I'm wrong but we'll see.
DavidM More than 1 year ago
The Whitney is 1 1/8 m
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
True. Thanks.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Try this guy ? He belongs . Not sure what you are watching . Made Mark Vdleski look like a cheap claimer. In his 4th lifetime start. FYI TAP owns the Spa. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3SqEKjkgy8&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
I don't believe he belongs in The Whitney. Third at best. Ron The Greek, FL, should be 1-2 in whatever order. Todd rules Spa due to the juvenile races. Check his stats in older competition. Lets be honest.
Mark More than 1 year ago
3rd in the Whitney is nice. So if he can run 3rd and he doesnt belong you want a two horse field ? And winning 2 year old races doesn't count ? That is a huge part of what makes the spa so great. Just last year all 3 of this years classics raced at 2 @ the spa.
redboy More than 1 year ago
Didnt Fort Larned win the Classic in front running fashion,at a 1 1/4 and he just laid down the law in the Foster Cross Traffic is a very game mile horse who just got run down in the Met mile and i think he still lacks a G1 win Fort Larned had a rough start to the season ,but what G1 horse ever really runs lights out after a layoff,and runs a entire season lights out,but to suggest that C.T is a at the very least is his equal thats a hard one to figure.
aaronrayk More than 1 year ago
Speed duel. I don't think Fort Larned is going to take back, seeing how he's only been winning on the lead.
jimf552 More than 1 year ago
He drew wide last year and attended the pace while stalking from the outside. Similar draw could lead to similar outcome.
aaronrayk More than 1 year ago
Will be an interesting draw
Mark More than 1 year ago
and Paynter ?
jimf552 More than 1 year ago
Wouldn't that be something!
Brandon Layer More than 1 year ago
The Whitney will be a lot more than just a showdown between these two. It's usually one of the best races of the year.