Monday, August 19, 2013

Whitney Handicap winner Cross Traffic makes Way for the Challenge in Woodward Stakes

One of the most awaited American Grade 1 Thoroughbred horse racing is the Whitney Handicap. Open to three year old over a distance of 9 furlongs, this stake race is a part of the “Win and You’re in” challenge to the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Held last Saturday at the Saratoga Race Course, the title was lost by last year’s winner Fort Larned who placed fourth. Winning the title with a superb run was Cross Traffic, runner up Successful Dan and third Mucho Macho Man.

Saturday’s 75,000 dollars race saw the splendid run of Todd Pletcher trained and Jockey Velazquez led four year old son of Unbridled’s Song and dam Stop Traffic. Stop Traffic who is the daughter of Cure of the Blues who had won the Ballerina at the Spa. Unbridled’s Song who passed away recently July 26 was one of the leading sire.

He opened the quarter mile with 00:24.96 leading the way into the second quarter in 00:23.11 and the third in 00:22.11, bettering each quarter by almost a second Pletcher seemed satisfied with his colt’s performance.

One of the news reports I had read earlier had mentions of Pletcher “That's pretty impressive. You don't see that many sub-23 internally, especially in a dirt race.”

Complimenting too was his jockey John Velazquez; "He put himself into the race right away," he added. "Every time they turned up the pressure, he was able to turn it up another notch. It was a perfect trip, but it was a self-produced perfect trip."

This win helps Pletcher plan the colt’s race career ahead, looking to run the 60th running of the Woodward Stakes at the Saratoga Race Course on August 31 followed by the Jockey Gold Cup.

Training hard and good on the morning of Aug 3 Cross Traffic’s performance will be worth seeing on the 1 1/8 mile of dirt turf of the Woodward Stakes on August 31, especially with John Velazquez’s history in the last few years.

Some of the past winners were: 

2012: To Honor and Serve, Jockey: John Velazquez

2011: Harve de Grace; Jockey: Ramon A. Dominguez

2010: Quality Road; Jockey: John Velazquez

No comments:

Post a Comment