Arkansas Derby (gr. II)

(gr. II , 9f ,)

AFLEET ALEX (B h, 122 lb) $600,000
Northern Afleet —Maggy Hawk , by Hawkster
B—John Martin Silvertand, FL.; O—Cash is King LLC; T—Timothy F. Ritchey

Flower Alley (CH h, 122 lb) $200,000
Distorted Humor —Princess Olivia , by Lycius
B—Bona Terra Farms, KY.; O—Melnyk Racing Stables, Inc.; T—Todd A. Pletcher

Andromeda's Hero (CH h, 122 lb) $100,000
Fusaichi Pegasus —Marozia , by Storm Bird
B—Barnett Enterprises, KY.; O—Robert V. LaPenta; T—Nicholas P. Zito

Margins: 8, ¾, neck. Others: Real Dandy 118($50,000) , Greater Good 122($30,000) , Canteen 118($20,000) , Rush Bay 118 , Wild Desert 118 , Cat Shaker 122 , Batson Challenge 118 . Winning Jockey, Jeremy Rose.

Cash is King Stable’s Afleet Alex exploded down the homestretch at Oaklawn Park to a commanding eight-length score in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. II). The 3-year-old son of Northern Afleet, an Eclipse Award finalist at two, kept his stable’s hopes alive for the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), besting possible contenders Flower Alley and Andromeda’s Hero in his final Derby prep.

Also seemingly answered April 16 were persistent questions about the colt’s health—specifically a breathing problem—since a disappointing sixth-place showing in Oaklawn’s Rebel Stakes (gr. III) in March in which he abruptly gave way in the stretch.

Tim Ritchey conditions the colt for Cash is King and its managing partner, Charles J. Zacney. Zacney’s CJZ Racing Stable purchased the strapping bay colt for $75,000 at the 2004 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale of 2-year-olds in training from the consignment of Robert N. Scanlon, agent.

The Arkansas Derby winner was bred in Florida by John Martin Silvertand. Silvertand bred Afleet Alex out of the winning Hawkster mare Maggy Hawk, an 11-year-old Kentucky-bred who also produced a stakes-winning full brother to Afleet Alex in 2000, Shecky Greene Stakes winner Unforgettable Max, who also placed in four graded races.

Maggie Hawk has entered a public sale ring two times, first as a weanling at the 1994 Keeneland November mixed sale where she failed to meet her reserve and was bought back for $10,000. She was consigned to the 1996 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s June horses of racing age sale where Walter Nazarenko purchased her for $5,000 from Indian Prairie Ranch, agent. In four starts, she won one race for Nazarenko. In 2004, Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, entered but withdrew her from the Keeneland January mixed sale while in foal to Florida stallion Tour d’Or.

Maggy Hawk’s 2005 foal, a filly by Quiet American, was foaled on Feb. 25 for breeder Stonestreet Mares.

Afleet Alex’s second dam, Qualique, by Hawaii, was precocious as well, winning the 1983 Demoiselle Stakes (gr. I) at Aqueduct at two.

Northern Afleet is the sire of eight stakes winners, including 2005 added-money winners Saint Afleet (gr. II) and G P Fleet. Now a joint Taylor Made Farm and WinStar Farm stallion venture, Northern Afleet stood from 1999 through 2004 at Donald Dizney’s Double Diamond Farm near Ocala, Fla. The son of Afleet now stands at the Taylor family’s nursery near Nicholasville, Ky., for a 2005 fee of $12,500.—P.S.