Submitted by Noel Michaels on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Travers winner Alpha headed for start in Suburban
ELMONT, N.Y. – Godolphin Racing’s Alpha, who dead-heated for the victory in last year’s Grade 1 Travers, is set to make his next start in the Grade 2, $350,000 Suburban Handicap on July 6 at Belmont Park, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said on Friday.
The Suburban will be Alpha’s first start in North America in 2013. Alpha raced twice in Dubai earlier this year for trainer Saeed bin Suroor, finishing last of 12 in the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge – Round 2 in February and fifth in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile in March.
Since returning to the United States, Alpha has been training in Saratoga Springs over the Oklahoma training track and the Greentree TrainingCenter’s artificial surface.
“His last race was OK,” said McLaughlin. “Better. He looks great. He came back looking great. In the past we’ve had horses really mature from 3 to 4, whether we gave them time off or didn’t give them time off. He’s still maturing and looks great.”
McLaughlin added that Alpha will breeze on Saturday, be ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the Suburban, and aim for the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational Handicap on Aug. 3 if he emerges from the Suburban in good form.