By David Grening
ELMONT, N.Y. – An intriguing matchup is looming in the Grade 1 Whitney on Aug. 3 at Saratoga between defending Whitney Handicap winner Fort Larned and the speedy Cross Traffic.
Fort Larned, who won last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic in front-running fashion, reverted back to his front-running ways Saturday night in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster and scored an impressive 6 1/4-length victory at Churchill Downs.
Fort Larned, trained by Ian Wilkes, is being pointed to the Whitney, where he will face the speedy Cross Traffic, who suffered heart-breaking defeats in both the Westchester and Metropolitan Handicaps after setting very fast early fractions.
“It’ll be a situation where something’s got to give the first part of the race,” said Todd Pletcher, who trains Cross Traffic. “Our horse has been running 44-and-change fractions; I don’t see taking back too much.”
Pletcher said Cross Traffic likely will have his first work since the Metropolitan Handicap this weekend at Belmont before shipping to Saratoga.
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