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Alpha Turns in Final Travers Move

Alpha, with jockey Ramon Dominguez in the irons, wins the Jim Dandy on Jim Dandy Day at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York on July 28, 2012
Godolphin Racing’s Alpha turned in his final serious work for the Grade 1, $1 million Travers Stakes on Friday at Saratoga Race Course, covering a half-mile over the main track in 48.91 under exercise rider Rob Massey.


“He worked well,” said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. “I had him galloping out in 1:01 and 4/5. Officially I think they said 1:02 and 1/5, but he went great and all systems are go. Saturday is normally the day we work, but last week we worked Thursday because of weather and there’s chance of rain again today. The track had some moisture in it, but he handled it well.”


The work was Alpha’s second since winning the Grade 2 Jim Dandy at the Spa on July 28. Last week, the Bernardini colt breezed four furlongs in 48.33 over the main track for the 1 ¼-mile Travers on August 25. Though Alpha’s major preparations are now complete, McLaughlin said he is unlikely to focus much on the rest of the field.


“I paid attention to Paynter not showing up, that was important for us,” McLaughlin said with a smile. “Otherwise, I know the horses that are coming, looks like an eight- to 10-horse field and we just have to wait and see how we draw. We’re doing well and we’ll get there ourselves. I don’t worry too much about everybody else.”


Expected for the Travers in addition to Alpha are Atigun, Five Sixteen, Hansen, Liaison, Neck ?n Neck, Nonios, Stealcase, Street Life and possibly Fast Falcon. NYRA Stakes Coordinator Andrew Byrnes said Friday that previously expected European invader Cogito would skip the race.



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