Afleet Alex's Trainer Buys $210,000 Dixieland Band Colt at Fasig-Tipton

Tim Ritchey, the trainer of Afleet Alex, was active Monday at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training, the same auction where the Preakness (gr. I) winner was sold last year.

Acting on the behalf of Chuck Zacney, who heads the Cash Is King Stable that owns Afleet Alex, Ritchey purchased a Dixieland Band colt for $210,000 before the midway point of the opening session. It was the highest price so far at the Maryland-based sale.

"If he's half as good as Afleet Alex, I'll be happy," said Ritchey, who made his offers from an upstairs area where Fasig-Tipton officials sit in the Timonium sale pavilion.

Arthur I. Appleton's Bridlewood Farm, agent, sold the bay colt, which is a half-brother to grade III winner Gulch Approval (by Gulch). The colt is out of the 11-year-old stakes-placed With Approval mare Classic Approval, who won three races. He worked an eighth of a mile in :10 3/5 prior to the auction.

Ritchey said the colt cost a little bit less than he had anticipated.

Milton Hendry, Beth Hendry, and Will Farish of Lane's End Farm bred the colt in Kentucky. He had been offered twice previously at public auction. The colt was a $150,000 buy-back at the 2004 Keeneland September yearling sale and a $120,000 buy-back at this year's Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Afleet Alex brought $75,000 when he was sold at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic to Ritchey, who was acting on the behalf of Chuck Zacney, managing partner of Cash Is King Stable. The Preakness winner is the cover horse for the catalogue of this year's auction.

Alex's Lemonade Stand, a pediatric cancer research charity that is supported by some of Afleet Alex's earnings, has a booth at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic auction, which continues through Tuesday.