Alpha on track for the Belmont Stakes as the 3-year-old breezed five furlongs
Godolphin Racing’s Alpha is on schedule to run in the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on 9 June, 2012, as he breezed five furlongs in 1 minute and 1.93 seconds on 27 May, 2012, over the Big Sandy’s main dirt track.
It was the son of Bernardini’s second published work since finishing 12th in the Grade 1, $2 million Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in a field of 20 horses on 5 May, 2012.
Kiaran McLaughlin trained colt, Alpha, was ridden by jockey Ramon Dominguez for the first three starts of the colt’s 2012 season, and the pair together won twice and finished second once in their time running together, but with Dominguez out of the picture
for the Kentucky Derby, McLaughlin relied Rajiv Maragh for the Run for the Roses.
Ramon Dominguez will back to ride Alpha in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, and the 1 ½ mile race could turn out to be a huge breakthrough race for the colt, as he has underperformed against a tough class on two occasions.
As a juvenile, Alpha finished 11th in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last fall at Churchill Downs to winner, Hansen, where he ridden by jockey Garrett Gomez, and at Churchill Downs again in the Kentucky Derby, Alpha failed to impress many
with an unplaced finish.
Out of Nijinsky II mare Munnaya, Alpha has run once at Belmont Park as a juvenile, when he finished second to winner, Union Rags in the 1 mile long Grade 1 Champagne Stakes.
“We’re just going to throw out the Churchill Downs races,” said McLaughlin, who won the 2006 Belmont Stakes with Jazil .
“He doesn’t like it there. I have a lot of respect for three or four horses (pointing for the Belmont). I’ll Have Another, Union Rags, Dullahan… but you never know with this mile and a half. You never know. You just have to play each horse as an individual,
and take it day by day.”
Alpha has a pretty good record this season apart from the Kentucky Derby blemish, and in the image of those race, he might run a big one on 9 June, 2012.