Photo: Oaklawn Park
Trainer Lynn Whiting is sanguine about Officer Alex
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.
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.”
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.
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
“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.”
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.