Whitney Handicap winner Cross Traffic will skip Saturday's Woodward at Saratoga to make his next start in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on Sept. 28.
"It was a tough decision, but we're trying to figure out the best way to get to the Breeders' Cup," said trainer Todd Pletcher. "We felt like bypassing (the Woodward) and getting a mile and a quarter race five weeks out from the Breeders' Cup Classic puts us in a better position than running a mile and an eighth nine weeks out, and then possibly needing to run back in the Jockey Club, as well. It was a tough call, but that's kind of what it came down to."
Cross Traffic, owned by GoldMark Farm, recorded his first stakes win in just his fifth career start with his Whitney victory on July 3. The victory was worth $450,000 to bring his lifetime earnings to $681,300 with three wins and two seconds.
Making his debut in January of this year, the 4-year-old colt won his first two races at Gulfstream Park and followed with second-place performances at Belmont Park in the Westchester Handicap and Met Mile.