Updated on 09/16/2011 8:57AM

No clash of titans

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War Emblem led from start to finish to win Sunday's Haskell. Next up, the Pacific Classic.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The big winners of Sunday's major stakes races for 3-year-olds both came out of their races in excellent condition, according to their trainers, but a match between War Emblem and Medaglia d'Oro will have to wait until at least the fall, because the horses are headed in separate directions for their next starts.

War Emblem, who led from start to finish when scoring by 3 1/2 lengths in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park, was scheduled to return to California on Tuesday, according to Jim Barnes, the assistant trainer to Bob Baffert. Before the Haskell, Baffert stated that Del Mar's $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 25 was the likely next start for War Emblem, and there is no reason to believe a deviation will be made from that course.

Because War Emblem is heading home, Medaglia d'Oro figures to be an overwhelming favorite in the $1 million Travers Stakes Aug. 24 at Saratoga. In the Jim Dandy, Saratoga's traditional prep for the Travers, Medaglia d'Oro crushed his rivals by 13 3/4 lengths. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 120, compared with 112 for War Emblem in the Haskell.

The Travers field figures to include several of the beaten runners in both the Haskell and Jim Dandy - such as Magic Weisner and Quest - as well as a surprising returnee in Repent. Trainer Ken McPeek on Monday morning at Saratoga said Repent, who has not raced since suffering an injury in the Illinois Derby in April, would come off the bench in the Travers.

"He's training great, and he's begging for a mile and a quarter," McPeek said.

Others who may run in the Travers include Century City, Gold Dollar, Like a Hero, Nothing Flat, and Puzzlement.

Bobby Frankel, the trainer of Medaglia d'Oro, on Monday morning at Saratoga said he believed his colt's breakout performance was the result of having two months of preparation. He had not raced since finishing second in the Belmont Stakes.

"We had to rush him in the spring to get him ready for the Kentucky Derby," said Frankel, who raced Medaglia d'Oro in all three legs of the Triple Crown. "This was the first break he had, so he improved. This was a crucial race for him, a tell-tale race."

Because War Emblem won both the Derby and Preakness Stakes, both times at the expense of Medaglia d'Oro, he remains the pro-tem leader of the 3-year-old division. For Medaglia d'Oro to overtake War Emblem, he will have to beat War Emblem at least two more times. But that was far from Frankel's mind on Monday. He said he had no problem with War Emblem bypassing the Travers in favor of the Pacific Classic.

"I'm not proud. I just want the money. I'd just as soon let him go to California," Frankel said. "The race is easier without [War Emblem]. I'm not saying my horse is better, but I'm not going to concede that War Emblem is better."

Frankel said Medaglia d'Oro might only have one workout in between the Jim Dandy and Travers. "I'm going to bring him into the Travers real easy," he said.

Baffert had never given any indication that War Emblem would run in the Travers. The reasons are many. Last summer, both of Baffert's top 3-year-olds were injured in stakes races at Saratoga - Congaree in the Jim Dandy and Point Given in the Travers. Baffert was concerned about shipping War Emblem to the heat and humidity of Monmouth Park, and the prospect of another cross-country trip into similar weather does not excite him.

And, by running in the Pacific Classic, War Emblem runs for the same prize money as the Travers, over what is usually a speed-favoring track, against a moderate group of West Coast-based older horses, while getting a weight break under the weight-for-age conditions of the Pacific Classic.

Barry Schwartz, the chairman and chief executive officer of the New York Racing Association, which runs Saratoga, said his organization would not attempt to lure War Emblem with an appearance fee for Baffert. The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority last week admitted that it paid Baffert $50,000 in each of the last two years to get War Emblem and Point Given to race in the Haskell.

"If we ever have to reach a point where we have to pay for a horse to come to New York, we're in trouble," Schwartz said. "We feel we have the best stakes program.

"It would be great if he did run," Schwartz added, referring to War Emblem. "It didn't sound like they had any interest in it whatsoever. It seems like Mr. Baffert doesn't care for New York too much."

Trainer Nick Zito, whose colt Quest was disqualified from second in the Jim Dandy for interfering with Iron Deputy, said Quest was "a little body sore" after the race, but was "fine this morning." Zito said his other Jim Dandy runner, Nothing Flat, bled. Nothing Flat was treated with Lasix for the first time in the Jim Dandy. "He needs more than medication. He needs cooler weather," Zito said.

Trainer Beau Greely said Like a Hero, who was third in the Haskell, and European import Century City are both aiming for the Travers. Like a Hero was scheduled to be sent by van from Monmouth to Saratoga on Tuesday.

Puck, who finished fourth in the Haskell and was pulled up after the race, was reported by trainer Bill White on Monday morning to have a twisted right front ankle. White said X-rays were negative.

- additional reporting by David Grening and Ryan Goldberg