Withers Stakes (gr. III) winner Alpha is likely to stay in New York for his next start, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said the morning after the Godolphin colt defeated an overmatched field Feb. 4 at Aqueduct.
McLaughlin reported Feb. 5 that Alpha, a contender for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), came out of his 3 1/4-length Withers victory in good order.
Aqueduct hosts the $400,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) March 3 and the $1 million Resorts World New York City Casino Wood Memorial (gr. I) April 7.
“We’ll look at the Gotham/Wood, talk to (Godolphin racing manager) Simon Crisford and see if we want to run him two more times, or one more time,” said McLaughlin. “We like having him here in New York.”
If Alpha were to run in the Wood, McLaughlin said he might ship Alpha to Florida to train.
The decision to run the son of Bernardini in the Jan. 7 Count Fleet, which he also won easily, and the Withers was made initially to keep him and Godolphin's Consortium on divergent paths to the Triple Crown, said the trainer.
“We thought Consortium was equally good, and we wanted to split them up,” said McLaughlin. “Then he (Consortium) ran terrible in the slop, (last of six) in the Holy Bull (gr. III) at Gulfstream. We still think he’s a good colt, but we’re not sure which way we are going to go with him.”
Alpha has won three of five lifetime starts with one second and earnings of $300,000.