Ticker
  •  Better Lucky rolls late in the Shine Again!Posted 4 days ago
  •  Fashion Alert outduels Take Charge Brandi in the Schuylerville!Posted 7 days ago
  •  Enterprising flies late to win the Oceanside!Posted 7 days ago
  •  Belle Gallantey shocks Princess of Sylmar in the Delaware Handicap!Posted 12 days ago
  •  Finnegans Wake defeats Admiral Kitten by an eyelash in the Arlington 'Cap!Posted 12 days ago
  • There will be a Pick Six carryover of $167,021 when racing resumes Friday at Los Alamitos.Posted 14 days ago
  • There will be a Pick Six carryover of $42,460 when racing resumes Thursday at Los Alamitos.Posted 16 days ago
  •  Assateague goes wire to wire in the Dr. James Penny Memorial!Posted 17 days ago
  •  Assateague goes wire to wire in the Dr. James Penny Memorial!Posted 17 days ago
  • Clearly Now breaks the 7f track record at Belmont - 1:19.96.Posted 20 days ago

Alpha's Options Include PA Derby, JC Gold Cup

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
Shared or not, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin remained thrilled and delighted Sunday morning by Alpha’s Grade 1, $1 million Travers victory. Godolphin Racing’s colt finished in a dead heat for the win with Golden Ticket, trained by Ken McPeek for Magic City Thoroughbred Partners.

 

“A win’s a win,” McLaughlin said, echoing the sentiments he had shared immediately after Saturday’s race. “We’re happy, very happy. It’s a great win, and it’s a win, that’s the most important thing. Someone texted me that it was a ‘K Mac’ day yesterday; K. McLaughlin and K. McPeek, both from Lexington.”

 

Making McLaughlin’s first Travers victory more meaningful was Alpha’s bumpy road to his first Grade 1 triumph. Previous attempts had not gone smoothly – the colt was second to eventual Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags in last year’s Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont after gate trouble and also had major gate issues when 11th in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs.

 

Alpha exited a neck loss to Gemologist in Aqueduct Racetrack’s Grade 1 Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial in April with a laceration on his left foreleg, which became infected and delayed his departure for the Kentucky Derby, in which he finished 12th after getting hot in the paddock. Pointed for the Belmont Stakes, Alpha developed a temperature 10 days out and McLaughlin was forced to skip the race and change course again. 

 

“He’s just done this in the last 90 days,” McLaughlin said pointing upward. “It’s been amazing. It worked out perfectly what we planned after [his] being sick. We shipped him up here on June 2, and this is what we wanted to do. It doesn’t always work that way, so it was great that it did. The plan came together. In the paddock yesterday, he never turned a hair, and that’s what we were worried a little bit about. At the gate he was great. So, he has matured and has done extremely well up here. He just didn’t do well in Kentucky. Getting sick before the Belmont is a blessing, looking back.”

 

McLaughlin reported that Alpha came out of the Travers “great” and that the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby on September 22 at Parx Racing and the Grade 1, $1 million TVG Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational on September 29 at Belmont Park are both possibilities for the Bernardini colt’s next start.

 

“I spoke to Simon [Crisford, Godolphin Racing Manager] yesterday evening,” McLaughlin said. “He asked me, ‘What would be the most logical spot?’ And I said, ‘Well, the Pennsylvania Derby [at Parx Racing] is in one month, and it’s straight 3-year-olds for $1 million, the same day as Questing going there [for the Grade 1 Cotillion].’ It’s a likely choice. Then you have Jockey Club Gold Cup the next week. It’s older [horses], but that’s the other spot to talk about, with the Breeders’ Cup then the next stop.”

 

Since Alpha has thrived in Saratoga, McLaughlin said he would like to keep the colt at Greentree Training Center for the time being. This afternoon, the trainer will send out Godolphin’s multiple Grade 1 winning filly It’s Tricky in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Handicap, where she will face last year’s Champion 3-Year-Old Filly Royal Delta and four others. How would he feel about another dead heat?

 

“I’d take it,” McLaughlin said with a smile. “It’s a Grade 1, and we don’t mind sharing in those situations.”

 

 

 

comments powered by Disqus

Related Pages

Related Stories

Top Stories