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
“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.