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Grading the 2012 Kentucky Derby Preps: Count Fleet, Sham

The ungraded, $150,000 Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct was one of two Kentucky Derby 2012 prep races to be run on Jan 7 and strong favorite Alpha did not disappoint in New York. On the West Coast, Out of Bounds upset Secret Circle in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes.

Count Fleet Stakes (1-7-12): 85 BSF (Alpha)

I have always been fond of Alpha but was concerned about his gate behavior after his Breeders’ Cup Juvenile flop. His starting gate antics were on full display once again in the Count Fleet Stakes but he was able to overcome them this time. He stalked, pounced, and cruised home over late runner Stephanoatsee in a solid performance. He received an 85 BSF for his victory on Saturday and is clearly back on the right track.

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