Afleet Alex Solid Favorite in Hopeful Stakes

Afleet Alex, who has won his three lifetime starts by a combined 28 1/2 lengths, heads a field of seven juveniles in Saturday's Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. It is the 100th running of the historic stakes.

The 2-year-old Northern Afleet   colt is owned by Chuck Zackney's Cash is King Stable and trained by Tim Ritchey.

Afleet Alex broke his maiden by 11 1/4 lengths at Delaware Park, where Ritchey is based, and then followed that up with a 12 length romp in a 5 1/2-furlong allowance race in the slop. Ritchey then sent him to Saratoga for the July 29 Sanford Stakes (gr. II) and Afleet Alex circled horses with an explosive move on the turn before drawing off to a 5 1/4-length victory in a sizzling 1:09 1/5.

Afleet Alex was purchased at this year's Fasig-Tipton's Midlantic sale at Timonium for $75,000. He will be ridden again by Jeremy Rose and break from the six post. All starters carry 122 pounds.

Flamenco and Consolidator, who ran second and third, respectively, behind Afleet Alex in the Sanford, will try him again. Flamenco, who is two-for-three, is owned by Peachtree Stable and trained by Todd Pletcher. Jerry Bailey will ride again. Consolidator, owned by Bob and Beverly Lewis and trained D. Wayne Lukas, has won one of four starts. Pat Day has the return mount.

The field, in post order:

1--Devils Disciple, Cornelio Velasquez
2--Winning Expression, Edgar Prado
3--Flamenco, Jerry Bailey
4--Wild Nature, Richard Migliore
5--Storm Surge, Robbie Albarado
6--Afleet Alex, Jeremy Rose
7--Consolidator, Pat Day

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