In the second stop on the New York Derby Trail Alpha won the G3 Withers by three and a quarter lengths. The Godolphin colt won handily as he was throttled down in the Aqueduct stretch. The victory added another $120,000 of graded earnings to Alpha’s Kentucky Derby qualifying bankroll.
The Bernardini colt covered the mile and a sixteeth in 1:44.23, which earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 90. In his previous start in the Count Fleet, Alpha won with a BSF of 85.
Alpha’s third victory has earned mixed reviews in the Twitterverse. Here’s what some of our tweeps had to say.
@andyserling Alpha wins after being carried four wide on the first turn but count me as unimpressed. He was calm in the gate but just OK on the track.
@Zipseatthetrack Alpha looked strong today.
@SteveHaskin Alpha has easy time of it. Wins Withers going away.
@HR_Nation Withers' winner, Alpha, puts all four hooves on the Kentucky Derby trail!
@milkmaid58 Alpha easy winner. Soft fractions. Okay.. Don't know any more than I did before the race. #soconfused
@holybull71 Alpha looked good taking the Withers. Bring on the Gotham.
@JerseyTom Alpha looking better and better. Tried to beat him to no avail.
@TTimes VIDEO: Alpha posts professional effort in Withers S. (G3) win
@EJXD2 After watching the last 2 preps, Alpha starting to look better, no?
@AndyScoggin Alpha breaks well, gets bumped wide in the first turn, and wins handily to get $120,000 of graded stakes money!
In the more traditional post race interview Alpha’s trainer Kiaran McLaughlin was not limited to 140 characters. “I think he improved some [from the Count Fleet] because of how wide he was both trips, and he was better in the gate. He gets a better grade for this race – if it was a ‘B’ last time, he gets an ‘A’ this time.”
“The plans will be to talk to Simon Crisford from Godolphin to see which way to go. He’s here in New York right now, but he could relocate, or he could run back in the Gotham in a month. We’ll just have to talk about it. At least we got $120,000 in graded earnings [today] going forward to the first Saturday in May. That’s important.”
“There are some good 3-year-olds around the country and it’s hard to tell what he actually beat today. Union Rags is out there, Todd Pletcher has what looks like a shedrow full of them, Out of Bounds in California for Darley…whatever direction he goes, there’s some nice 3-year-olds out there. We hope we fit in there well with them all.”
The third stop on the New York Derby Trail is the $400,000 G3 Gotham at 1 1/16th miles on March 3.