Alpha bounces back from his Kentucky Derby flop in Jim DandyPICTURE: EquiSport Photos/Bud Morton
Alpha looks good for Godolphin in Jim Dandy
Report: USA, Saturday
Saratoga: Jim Dandy Stakes (Grade 2) 1m1f, dirt, 3yo
GODOLPHIN'S Alpha (Kiaran McLaughlin/Ramon Dominguez) looks sure to be a major player in the rest of the season's major races after making all in the Jim Dandy.
After missing the Belmont with a temperature, the son of Bernardini was returning from a 12-week layoff after his Kentucky Derby flop.
A week after Godolphin took the Grade 1 CCA Oaks with Questing, Alpha landed this $600,000 event by two lengths over Neck 'n Neck to put himself in pole position for Saratoga's ‘midsummer derby', the Travers Stakes on August 25.
Sent off 9-5 favourite in a good field, Alpha stopped the clock at 1m50.47s on a sloppy, sealed track.
"This was the plan all the time, to run in this and back in the Travers," said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "Hopefully, everything goes well for the next four weeks."
Alpha had a fairly easy time of it up front before turning back Neck 'n Neck for a comfortable victory.
"He was superb all the way around there," said Dominguez. "Turning for home when I shook him up, he just took off for me. It's an indication he'll handle farther and I love the way he was handling himself prior to and after the race."
Winter Memories quickening smartly to win at Saratoga on SaturdayPICTURE: EquiSport Photos/Bud Morton
Also on Saturday
Saratoga: Diana Stakes (Grade 1) 1m1f, turf, 3yo+ f/m
Winter Memories (Jimmy Toner/Javier Castellano) reclaimed her status as top banana in the turf fillies' department as she won at Saratoga for the third year in a row.
The four-year-old has now won eight out of 12 career starts, and has a three-from-four record at America's most prestigious venue as she scored in impressive fashion by a length and a half over French-trained Dream Peace, who now joins US-based Chad Brown.
The Marco Botti-trained Law Of The Range, a big longshot, tracked the pace set by Tapitsfly before fading to finish last of six.
Del Mar: San Diego Hcap (Grade 2) 1m½f, AW, 3yo+
Veteran Grade 1 winner Rail Trip (Ron Ellis/Jose Valdivia) will run next in the $1 million Pacific Classic, Del Mar's signature event, after winning for the first time in two years.
The seven-year-old, who won the Hollywood Gold Cup in 2009, beat John Scott by a half-length in a race that carries an automatic expenses-paid starting berth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile under the ‘Win-and-You're-In' programme.