03/11/2013 2:17PM

Gulfstream Park notes: Cross Traffic stands out

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Barbara D. Livingston
Jockey Luis Saez will likely miss the remainder of the meet.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The 1:35.17 clocking Discreet Dancer posted winning the Gulfstream Park Handicap on Saturday turned out to be a magic number this weekend. His stablemate Cross Traffic posted the exact same time winning Sunday’s $54,500 co-feature by 7 1/2 lengths to remain undefeated in two starts for trainer Todd Pletcher. A 4-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song, Cross Traffic is owned by Gold Mark Farm.

Cross Traffic shared the number-one star on Sunday’s card with Juddmonte Farm’s 3-year-old filly Close Hatches, who also won for the second time in as many tries when leading throughout to register a 1 1/4-length entry-level allowance win over Kimberly Jean when sent two turns for the first time by trainer Bill Mott.

Close Hatches, a homebred daughter of First Defence, is nominated for the Kentucky Oaks along with stablemates Calistoga, Emollient, and Flashy Gray, all of whom have won here for Mott this winter. At least one of that quartet is likely to prep for the Oaks in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks here on March 30.

Saez likely out for meet

Jockey Luis Saez, who was in the thick of the race for the jockey title entering last weekend’s action, will likely miss the remainder of the meet and is expected to be sidelined from three to five weeks according to his agent, Richard DePass, after suffering a hairline fracture of the hip in a frightening spill here Saturday. Jose Lezcano, currently fifth in the standings and just one win behind John Velazquez for fourth, could return later this week after spraining an ankle in the same incident.

Javier Castellano’s five winners on Saturday – which included Discreet Dancer in the Gulfstream Park Handicap – gave him a little breathing room again in the race for the riding title. Castellano will carry a 78-70 edge over Joel Rosario into Wednesday’s card. Rosario, who was in Tampa on Saturday, countered with a riding double on Sunday that began with his victory aboard the odds on Close Hatches. The injured Saez is third with 68 wins.

** The 10-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot is slowly building again after being hit for a record $3.59 million on Feb. 22. A carryover of $551,970 will be up for grabs when racing resumes on Wednesday.