Alpha, who finished in a dead heat for first in the Grade 1 Travers
Stakes at Saratoga last August, makes his Dubai debut in Thursday’s
$250,000 Round Two of the Maktoum Challenge at Meydan Racecourse.
Owned by Godolphin Racing, Alpha has not started since finishing last
of 12 in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 3. A start in
the Maktoum Challenge puts Alpha closer to an appearance in the $10
million Dubai World Cup on March 30. A winner of 5 of 11 starts and
$1,270,000, Alpha was 12th in the 2012 Kentucky Derby, but rebounded to
win the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga as a prep for the Travers.
The Maktoum Challenge is run over about 1 3/16 miles on the Tapeta
Footings synthetic track. The race drew a field of 12. Alpha will be
ridden by William Buick for trainer Saeed Bin Suroor. Kiaran McLaughlin
trained Alpha in the United States.