After several days of discussing the situation with the Cash is King partners, and with jockey agents all over the country trying to get the mount, it was finally decided to go with the rider who knew the colt best.
Trainer Tim Ritchey announced Tuesday that Jeremy Rose will ride Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Afleet Alex in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) May 7. Rose has ridden Afleet Alex in every race but one, winning six of his eight starts aboard the colt.John Velazquez had agreed to ride Afleet Alex in the Southwest Stakes, Rebel (gr. III), and Arkansas Derby and, if everything went as planned, he would ride the son of Northern Afleet in the Kentucky Derby. But when Alex missed the Southwest, and finished last in the Rebel, coming out of the race with lung infection, Velazquez went back to bread and butter trainer, Todd Pletcher, choosing to ride Bandini in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), which he won by six lengths.