10/02/2013 2:34PM

Breeders' Cup Classic: Cross Traffic sidelined by shin injury

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Barbara D. Livingston
Cross Traffic on Wednesday was removed from consideration for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Cross Traffic, who finished seventh of eight in the Jockey Club Gold Cup after a poor start on Saturday at Belmont Park, on Wednesday was removed from consideration for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita because of what was described as a minor shin injury in a press release from his owners, the GoldMark Farm of T. Paul Bulmahn.

Todd Quast, the general manager of GoldMark, said Cross Traffic would be brought to GoldMark’s Florida farm for evaluation, and “based on those findings make decisions regarding his future.”

Cross Traffic won the Whitney earlier this year, and was second in the Metropolitan Mile. The Jockey Club Gold Cup was his first attempt at the BC Classic distance of 1 1/4 miles.

Cross Traffic’s defection, coupled with Mike Smith’s decision on Tuesday to ride Game On Dude in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, resulted in John Velazquez inheriting the mount on Palace Malice for the Classic. Smith had been the regular rider on Palace Malice. They most recently finished second in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Both Cross Traffic and Palace Malice are trained by Todd Pletcher.

Also Wednesday, Joe Talamo was named to ride Moreno in the Classic, replacing Jose Ortiz, according to Talamo’s agent, Scotty McClellan. Moreno has finished second in his last two starts, the Travers Stakes and Pennsylvania Derby, both times against another Classic contender Will Take Charge.

Palace Malice was fourth in the Travers after a rough trip, then rebounded with a solid effort in the Jockey Club Gold Cup

“Mike Smith predictably will reunite with Game On Dude, probable Classic favorite, and his mount in five previous graded stakes victories,” Cot Campbell, the president of Dogwood, said in a release. “We are sorry to lose him, as he has won the Belmont Stakes and the Jim Dandy, and was recently a good second on Palace Malice in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. But we are overjoyed to get another Hall of Fame rider in Johnny V. He’ll fit him like a glove.”

Campbell said the Classic would be the final start of 2013 for Palace Malice, but he was scheduled to race in 2014 following a winter vacation in Aiken, S.C., where Dogwood is based.

“We have heard from many breeders concerning his stallion career, but we are racing people and fully expect to race him next year,” Campbell said.

Game On Dude, the antepost favorite for the Classic, worked six furlongs in 1:12 on Tuesday at Santa Anita, his third work since his victory in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar. He was purposely kept out of the Awesome Again Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita in order to come into the BC Classic fresh.

Smith, who has won five straight races on Game On Dude, missed the Pacific Classic owing to a conflict the same day with Royal Delta at Saratoga. Martin Garcia rode Game On Dude in the Pacific Classic as a replacement for the injured Joel Rosario.

In other Classic developments:

◗ Led by Haskell runner-up Power Broker, there are 15 3-year-olds entered in the Grade 2, $500,000 Indiana Derby on Saturday at Indiana Downs, but no Classic contenders are expected to emerge from that 1 1/16-mile race.

– additional reporting by David Grening

zerosumzen More than 1 year ago
There is a pic of Johhny V staring down Mike Smith right before the JCGC. It's a pretty hilarious shot that you can find at a competitor's site that starts with 'BL'. I had a good laugh at it. Of course, both were riding Pletcher horses. Johnny V on Cross Traffic in the 8 hole, and Smith on Palace Malice in the 7 hole. For me Cross Traffic was the one to beat in this race. But, as described at the competitor's site, the "track broke out from underneath him at the start". And he was injured right at the start. As you probably know, they didn't start from the chute, but from some weird corner position. Maybe I'm too distrusting of the level of cheating some people are willing to go to. But I can't help wondering how on earth the track broke out from underneath him. In a race of this magnitude was there pretty much a hole for CT to step into?
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Moreno will most likely tire trying to go with Dude. Dude would have trouble trying to keep up with Traffic. This race just changed for the positive for Dude.
redboy More than 1 year ago
Last win
redboy More than 1 year ago
Cross was weaving all down the home stretch in his last racemile to mile and a eighth is whats in his comfort zone,mile and and a quarter is way to much to ask of him
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
It was more of a bad habit not because he was so tired, proven by holding off the stretch runners. Still, 1 1/4 might not have been his best, but to those thinking he would have tired bad, would have been wrong.
Slew32A More than 1 year ago
He didn't run 1 1/4mi. He didn't even run 10 feet.
Fred Colon More than 1 year ago
Cross Traffic is (was) some animal. I just knew there had to have been something wrong with him by the way he ran in the JKYGCC.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
He stumbled to his knees where he stood when the gate opened, giving him no chance in that race and no doubt causing the shin injury.
nick More than 1 year ago
Fred, To paraphrase Monty Python, "He's not dead yet . . ."
B More than 1 year ago
He didn't run long enough to know what he was. He was promising, but that's about it.
TheRaiderFan More than 1 year ago
I can already see Game On Dude in the Winner's Circle
nick More than 1 year ago
Yes, passing by on his way back to his stall as they take the winner's photo of and shower accolades on Mucho Macho Man . . .
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Six of the eight runners in the JCGC " fell, stumbled, bobbled" or otherwise had trouble leaving the Gate. Where was the Track Super? I'm sure he's paid well enough!
Larry Kaufman More than 1 year ago
pletcher strikes again, i wouldn't let him train a 10,000 claimer for me
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
I'm his biggest critic along with his counterpart in the West but Pletcher has an excuse here, see above.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Please explain that a horse stumbling to his knees and scraping his shin has anything to do with the trainer, like him or not.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
To me, HC? I don't know if Kaufman knew there was trouble at the break. The track had to be plum loose at that spot and that is why I lay it on the Track Super.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
And no doubt you would be correct. You would know more about this, but I would think that starting in a spot that is rarely used would contribute, and still falls on the Super as he should have checked that area for uniformity.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Bingo! So how did the Super respond to questions from DRF?
Vinod Jhangimal More than 1 year ago
Mr Mc Rory, since I am unable to respond to your question directly because there is no "reply" box to it, I will answer the question using the reply button of Horse Cents. To answer your "Bingo! So how did the Super respond to questions from DRF?" question: The Super said "I'm sorry, you need to subscribe to me as Super+ in order to get an answer or comment from me"
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Vinod, even if you paid the DRF plus to read the articles you would not find such a thing as an answer to those questions. DRF does not ask those questions, or do any type of investigative reporting, they only regurgitate what they are told.
Steven Simonovic More than 1 year ago
Best news Bob Baffert has heard all week!