Talkin' Horses - Live Discussions

Tim Ritchey Trainer

Wednesday May 25, 2005

Trainer Tim Ritchey, whose Afleet Alex overcame near disaster in the stretch to win Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I), joins us for a special edition of's "Talkin' Horses" today.

Ritchey, who lives in Maryland and races in Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, while wintering in Arkansas, is known for his unorthodox method of training Afleet Alex, the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) third-place finisher who often goes to the track for long gallops twice a day.


Welcome to a very special edition of Talkin' Horses with Preakness-winning trainer Tim Ritchey. Let's get right to some of the questions submitted in advance...

New York, NY:
I know Alex's training schedule is heavier than that of most racehorses-- and clearly is doing him just fine. Do you think his training had anything to do with his ability to recover so quickly from his stumble or do you think it made no difference--he's just naturally that athletic?

I think he is naturally athletic but I would like to think that my training had a part to do with it. I would like to think that because has had so many miles of training and is so fit mentally and physically, that he would have the mental and physical ability to recover quickly and pick himself up
and go on like that.

Brookhaven, PA:
How do you account for the recent Philadelphia Park/Delaware Park success in the Triple Crown series? Do you foresee any Afleet Alex day at Delaware Park in the future?

I think some of that is directly attributed to the increase in purses at Delaware Park as a result of slot machines. I don't know about Smarty Jones and Philadelphia Park, but I know that when the owners of this horse came to me before I bought Afleet Alex it was with purpose of buying a horse to run at Delaware Park. If you have slots, the bigger the purses are going to be, and the better the horses are going to be. His schedule is to go to Belmont and then to Saratoga. Somewhere along the line he will be back at Delaware Park and hopefully they would have a reception for him. But I have not talked to anyone at Delaware Park about that.

Best of Talkin HorsesTo read the complete transcript of this chat, along with many others, check out Best of Talkiní Horses.

Best of Talkin’ Horses features provocative “chats” with some of Thoroughbred racing’s most prominent names. Adapted from “Talkin’ Horses,” the popular weekly online chat series hosted by, this edited collection provides additional insights by Ron Mitchell, editor and moderator of “Talkin’ Horses."


Editor's Note: moderators retain editorial control over Talkin' Horses discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests; guests may decline to answer questions. Opinions expressed by guests of Talkin' Horses are those of the guest and do not represent the opinions of Blood-Horse Publications, its employees, associates, or affiliated organizations. Guests, dates, and times of Talkin' Horses discussions are subject to change.