The action picked up on the Metropolitan Handicap front Thursday morning, as Ogden Phipps' Traditionally breezed a half in :49 over the sloppy main track at Belmont, galloping out five furlongs in 1:02. Todd Pletcher's pair of Trippi and Left Bank also worked this morning, going five furlongs in 1:01 3/5 in company.
With rain in the forecast for Friday and possibly on Met Mile day Monday, it could change the complexion of the race.
"That concerns me a little," trainer Shug McGaughey said. "If it's wet-fast, there's a good chance I'll scratch him. If it's sealed like it has been the last few days, we'll probably run."
Traditionally will be dropping back in distance after winning the 1 1/8-mile Oaklawn Handicap. "The cutback to a mile doesn't bother me at all," McGaughey said. "I'll be happy if the pace is fast early on. That way he can take back and come with one run. If they're going slow, he'll be closer to the pace. In his last three races, he's been in front at the mile marker anyway."
The probable field for the $750,000 Met Mile consists of Peeping Tom, Traditionally, Alannan, Trippi, Left Bank, Cat's at Home, Exchange Rate, and Blade Prospector. Listed as a possibility is Bevo. Songandaprayer, who set the fastest half and three-quarter fractions in the history of the Kentucky Derby, was expected to run in the Met, but his connections have opted instead for the seven-furlong Riva Ridge Stakes on Belmont Day, where he'll face the brilliant Put it Back and last year's Remsen winner Windsor Castle.
Expected to run in the Saturday's Peter Pan, which will be drawn this afternoon, are Hero's tribute, E Dubai, I Love Silver, Meetyouatthebrig, Dayton Flyer, Sirfa, and Telescam.