Afleet Alex winters in Florida, points toward Sunshine Millions Classic.

Afleet Alex winters in Florida, points toward Sunshine Millions Classic.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Afleet Alex Among Many Arrivals at Gulfstream

edited press release
Cash is King Stable's Afleet Alex, who hasn't raced since his victory in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in June, was one of more than 100 horses that shipped into Gulfstream Park in South Florida the morning of Nov. 28.

Afleet Alex arrived by van from Delaware Park accompanied by trainer Tim Ritchey's son, Ben. Tim Ritchey, who the past few years has wintered at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas, will be based at Gulfstream for the first time.

Afleet Alex's campaign as a 3-year-old ended early when he suffered a condylar fracture of the left front cannon bone. Ritchey hopes the Florida-bred son of Northern Afleet  will be ready for the $1-million Sunshine Millions Classic, scheduled for Jan. 28 at Santa Anita Park.

Another arrival was Bruce Lunsford and Lansdon Robbins III's First Samurai, who finished third in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Belmont Park after having won his first four starts. The son of Giant's Causeway  will be based at Gulfstream for the early part of his 3-year-old campaign.

Next year's $1-million, 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby (gr. I) is set for April 1. Local preps include the one-mile Aventura Stakes on Jan. 7, the 1 1/8-mile Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) on Feb. 4, and the 1 1/8-mile Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) on March 4.

Horses from the barns of trainers Allen Jerkens and Shug McGaughey were scheduled to arrive at Gulfstream Nov. 29, while trainer Nick Zito has 30 head set to ship in Nov. 30.

Gulfstream opens Jan. 4 for its 2006 meet. Gulfstream remains in reconstruction mode, though track officials have said portions of the facility would be ready for opening day.