Alpha, who dead-heated for
the victory in last year’s Grade 1 Travers, is set to make his next
start in the Grade 2, $350,000 Suburban Handicap on July 6 at Belmont
Park, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said on Friday.
The Suburban will be Alpha’s first start in
North America in 2013. Alpha raced
twice in Dubai earlier this year for trainer Saeed bin Suroor, finishing
last of 12 in the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge – Round 2 in February
and fifth in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile in March.
Since returning to the
United States, Alpha has been training in
Saratoga Springs over the Oklahoma training track and the
Training Center’s artificial surface.
“His last race was OK,” said McLaughlin. “Better. He looks
great. He came back looking great. In the past we’ve had horses really
mature from 3 to 4, whether we gave
them time off or didn’t give them time off. He’s still maturing and
McLaughlin added that Alpha will breeze on Saturday, be ridden
by Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the Suburban, and aim for the Grade 1 Whitney
Invitational Handicap on August 3
if he emerges from the Suburban in good form.