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Officer Alex Will Try Again in Southwest

Officer Alex Will Try Again in Southwest
Photo: Oaklawn Park
Trainer Lynn Whiting is sanguine about Officer Alex rebounding Monday when the 3-year-old takes a swing at the $300,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn. After traffic and shoe problems in the Smarty Jones Stakes, the veteran conditioner thinks a clean trip in Monday’s President’s Day feature should result in a much better performance.

“I’m fairly confident when you think about all that didn’t go his way in the Smarty Jones,” said Whiting on Wednesday. “With as many problems as he encountered I think he made a really good account of himself.”

Owned by Winning Horse Stable and Choctaw Racing Stable, the son of former Oaklawn superstar Afleet Alex broke slowly and was caught wide in the one-mile Smarty Jones on Jan 21. When Officer Alex moved toward the leaders, he was forced four wide and lost a shoe.

“He had a lot going against him, but when he got to the quarter-pole, he looked like he was the horse,” said Whiting.

Officer Alex has looked like the horse already, when he powerfully scored the Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes at Parx Racing and earned high marks from the leading public speed figure providers. Whiting points to that performance as what Officer Alex is capable of with better racing luck this time.

“He beat a pretty good horse in there,” he said referring to second-place finisher Res Judicata who was running for the same connections as Smarty Jones. “It was supposed to be a coronation for that horse, and he got away from us by about two-and-a-half at one point, but we reeled him in and drew off. I’m sure we had enough time to recover from that race. I don’t ascribe to a theory that we might have bounced. He just had a lot of trouble this last time.”

Whiting says Luis Quinonez will ride Officer Alex in the Southwest, replacing Stewart Elliott, who had been aboard for three of the colt’s previous four starts including his last race.
 

 

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