Cash is King Stable's Afleet Alex, winner of the Preakness (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I), turned in a sharp mile work in 1:36 3/5 at Belmont Park Thursday in preparation for his return to the races in the $1-million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) on Aug. 7.
"He started out easy and he finished well," trainer Tim Ritchey said. "He came out of it good, cooled out fine, no problem. The clockers said they got him in :25 and change for the opening quarter and around :49 4/5 for the half. He's put on probably 100 pounds. I mean he has really blossomed; it's amazing. You can't believe how he's filled out."
This was the second work since the Belmont for the son of Northern Afleet
. In his only other work, he breezed five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 on July 10.
Afleet Alex, who had regular rider Jeremy Rose in the saddle for the work, likely will face Dwyer (gr. II) winner Roman Ruler and recent Long Branch (gr. III) winner Park Avenue Ball in the nine-furlong Haskell, which could also attract Swaps (gr. II) winner Surf Cat and High Limit, third in the Leonard Richards Stakes (gr. III). Also possible is the undefeated Joey P., who stretches out to a mile in an allowance race at Monmouth on Friday.
Monmouth Park reports that only a few seats remain for Haskell day – in two sections of the grandstand and two sections of the mezzanine. All boxes and clubhouse seats have been sold out.