09/16/2013 4:05PM

Pletcher stars breeze at Saratoga

Barbara D. Livingston
Cross Traffic (left) and Graydar breeze five furlongs in 1:01.26 in company at Saratoga on Monday.

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Led by Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice, trainer Todd Pletcher put a bevy of his stakes stars through workouts at Saratoga on Monday over the Oklahoma training track. Palace Malice, preparing for the Jockey Club Gold Cup on Sept. 28, worked five furlongs in 1:02.03 after covering his first eighth in 14 seconds.

“He worked like his typically very good self,” Pletcher said. “He galloped out strongly, looked like he was every bit as good as he’s been all year.”

Whitney winner Cross Traffic, also preparing for the Jockey Club Gold Cup, worked five furlongs in company with Donn Handicap and New Orleans Handicap winner Graydar, who is preparing for the Grade 2 Kelso on the same card as the Gold Cup. That pair was timed in 1:01.26 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.

“I felt both horses went very well,” Pletcher said. “They worked together last week and seemed to make a good team; kept them together again, very pleased with both of them.”

Pletcher skipped the Woodward Stakes with Cross Traffic, opting to give the horse one race between the Aug. 3 Whitney and the Nov. 2 Breeders’ Cup instead of two.

“I feel totally comfortable with it,” Pletcher said. “The Woodward was run on a sloppy racetrack. You never know how he would have handled it or how they come out of those types of races. I’m happy with the decision we made.”

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Pletcher said Graydar, who had surgery to remove an ankle chip in April, is right on schedule for the Kelso, a race that could be a stepping-stone to the Breeders’ Cup Classic or Dirt Mile.

“Hopefully, we have him ready to run well off the bench and, more importantly, have him move forward for having that run,” Pletcher said.

Princess of Sylmar, the leader of the 3-year-old filly division, and Authenticity, the multiple graded stakes-winning older filly, worked five furlongs in 1:01.67 in company. Princess of Sylmar, winner of the Kentucky Oaks, Coaching Club American Oaks, and Alabama Stakes, will run in the Beldame, while Authenticity, winner of the La Troienne and Shuvee, is a candidate for either the Beldame or the Zenyatta at Santa Anita.

Of Princess of Sylmar, Pletcher said, “She looks good to me. I think she’s put on a few pounds, actually, since the Alabama. Her breeze indicated to me she’s sitting on another big effort.”

Havana, a sharp debut-winning 2-year-old, worked five furlongs in 1:01.69 in preparation for the Grade 1 Champagne, while Stopchargingmaria went a half-mile in 50.43 in preparation for the Grade 1 Frizette. Both those races are Oct. 5.

All of those horses were scheduled to ship to Belmont Park on Tuesday.