Jim Tafel LLC’s Fast Alex
has his connections thinking about the Grade II, $300,000 New Orleans
Handicap in March after an impressive win in Monday’s feature, a $49,000
allowance for older horses
at one mile and 70 yards over the Fair Grounds main track.
slow fractions of :24.46, :48.80 and 1:13.83, Fast Alex closed steadily
from near the back of the field to score by three-quarters of
a length over William J. Butler et al’s Harmonizer. The winner, a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred by Afleet Alex trained by
Greg Geier and ridden by Robby Albarado, completed the distance in 1:43.08 to earn his third victory from seven lifetime starts and boost his earnings to $79,935.
said that although the New Orleans Handicap would likely be Fast Alex’s
primary goal for the season, the path for getting there remains
still learning,” Geier said. “He’s a big boy right now and he hasn’t
gotten it all together yet. Once he gets it all together hopefully
he’ll be as good as we think he is. We’ll just play it by ear and see
how he comes along. I know what we’ve got and we just want to get him to
the next point. The New Orleans Handicap is probably our main goal.”
three-race series for older horses that climaxes with the New Orleans
Handicap also includes the $60,000 Louisiana Handicap on Jan. 22 and
the Grade III, $125,000 Mineshaft Handicap on Feb. 19. Geier suggested
the Louisiana ’Cap was unlikely for Fast Alex, in part because he
already is pointing Tafel’s Tenacious Handicap winner
Country Flavor to that spot.
the betting favorite, could not outfinish the winner but also closed
well to get second, 1 ¾ lengths to the good of Maggi Moss’s
It Happened Again in a field of seven (Victory Notion scratched).
Alex returned mutuels of $8.40, $4.20 and $2.60; Harmonizer paid $3 and
$2.40; and It Happened Again was worth $4.20 to show.