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Breeders' Cup 2017

Alpha Continues Cigar Mile Preparations

Alpha Woodward 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Godolphin Racing's Alpha remains under consideration for the Grade 1 Cigar Mile after breezing four furlongs on the Belmont training track Saturday in what was his first workout since his eighth-place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile on November 1 at Santa Anita.

 

With exercise rider Carlos Rosillo aboard, Alpha worked inside of Long River and finished about a head behind his workmate, completing the distance in 48.14 seconds.

 

"He breezed very well; we're happy with the breeze," said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "He galloped out well, and all systems are 'go' for the Cigar Mile."

 

With Groupie Doll and Goldencents part of the provisional Cigar Mile field, McLaughlin said he will track Alpha's progress before he fully commits the 4-year-old to the race.

 

"We're going to keep our options open because [the race] is coming up tough, but we're pointing that way," said McLaughlin. "We're happy with him, he likes New York, he doesn't ship well, so we're pointing to the Cigar Mile, even though it's coming up tough."

 

Alpha, who won Saratoga Race Course's 2012 Grade 1 Travers (via dead heat) and the 2013 Grade 1 Woodward, is 2-1-0 from three starts at Aqueduct, winning the Count Fleet and Grade 3 Withers on the inner track and finishing second in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial on the main track in 2012.

 

Also on the worktab for McLaughlin was Grade 2 Nashua winner Cairo Prince, who is preparing for a start in the Grade 2 Remsen, also on November 30. The 2-year-old covered four furlongs in 48.89 seconds.

 

"He worked well, also in company," said McLaughlin, who trains Cairo Prince for Namcook Stables, Paul Braverman, Harvey Clarke, and Craig W. Robertson III. "He looked great doing it with [workmate] Truth Is, and we're pointing for the Remsen."

 

 

 

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