Admiral Alex returned to the winner’s circle Sunday afternoon at Belmont Park for the first time since his maiden victory, going wire-to-wire under Cornelio Velasquez to post a 4 3/4-length victory over favored Our Dark Knight in the $70,000 Arts and Letters overnight stakes.
The 3-year-old son of Afleet Alex, who gained notoriety when he leapt from his maiden win at Saratoga Race Course on July 31 directly into the Grade 1 Travers, finishing last, quickly took the lead in Sunday’s 1 1/8-mile race, setting fractions of 22.56, 45.66 and 1:09.88 with Our Dark Knight close behind in striking position. Approaching the quarter-pole, Admiral Alex easily began opening up on his pursuers and was never threatened as he cruised under the finish line in 1:47.67 over the fast track.
The 5-2 second choice in the field of five sophomores, Admiral Alex returned $7.20 for a $2 win bet and earned $42,000. The colt is now 2-0-0 from four starts including his 10th-place finish in the Grade 1 Jamaica on the grass on October 9.
“He should be undefeated,” said Admiral Alex’s owner and trainer, Leon Blusiewicz, who paid $260,000 for the colt at the Keeneland September yearling sales in 2008. “He had excuses in the Travers and the Jamaica. He’s a good horse and he’ll get a chance to show it.”
Blusiewicz said Admiral Alex would make his next and final start of 2010 in the Grade 3, $100,000 Discovery for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles at Aqueduct Racetrack on November 20, after which he would winter in Florida before being brought back for a 4-year-old campaign that he hopes will include the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap.
“Cornelio thinks this horse can go 1 ¼, 1 ½ miles,” said Blusiewicz. “A mile should be no problem for him.”