Travers Winner Alpha to Contest Suburban
by Blood-Horse Staff
Date Posted: 6/28/2013 1:48:02 PM
Last Updated: 6/30/2013 4:55:38 PM
Godolphin Racing's Alpha will make his next start in the Suburban Handicap.
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Godolphin Racing's Alpha, who dead-heated for first in last year's Travers Stakes (gr. I), is set to make his next start in the $350,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. II) July 6 at Belmont Park, according to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
The Suburban will mark Alpha's 2013 debut in North America after beginning the season in Dubai. He finished last of 12 in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 in February and fifth in the Godolphin Mile, both group II races, in March.
"His last race was OK," McLaughlin said of the 4-year-old son of Bernardini who has been training in Saratoga Race Course since his return to North America. "He looks great. He came back looking great. In the past we've had horses really mature from 3 to 4, whether we gave them time off or didn't give them time off. He's still maturing and looks great."
McLaughlin added that Alpha will breeze the morning of June 29 and will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. in the Suburban. The trainer said the colt would be pointed toward the Aug. 3 Whitney Invitational Handicap (gr. I) if he emerges from the Suburban in good form.
Also being considered for the 1 1/8-mile Suburban are Flat Out , third in the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) in his most recent start; Mountainview Handicap winner Easter Gift; Pimlico Special Stakes (gr. III) winner Last Gunfighter; and Percussion, second in the Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) after winning the Albert the Great Stakes.
The Suburban is one of three graded stakes scheduled for Belmont over the four-day Independence Day holiday.
On July 4, older turf horses will compete in the $150,000 Poker Stakes (gr. IIIT) that is being considered for Big Screen, who was disqualified to second in the Jaipur Stakes on the main track June 7; Howe Great, most recently fourth in the Dixie (gr. IIT) at Pimlico Race Course; Kingston Stakes winner King Kreesa; Mr. Commons, third in the Maker's 46 Mile Stakes (gr. IT) at Keeneland; Street Game, fourth in the Kingston; Upgrade, third in the Connaught Cup (Can-IIT); and Za Approval, a multiple grade III stakes winner this year.
Among the 3-year-olds looking to get a head start on the second half of the season in the $200,000 Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) July 6 at 1 1/16 miles are Battier, third in the Gygistar overnight stakes last time out; For Greater Glory, second in an optional claimer June 2 at Churchill Downs; recent maiden winner Moreno; Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) runner-up Saint Vigeur, and possibly Transparent, who beat older horses last time out at Aqueduct Racetrack.
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