Derby Hopeful: Alpha

  Alpha is a three-year-old Kentucky foaled colt out of Munnaya, by way of Nijinsky II, and sired by Bernardini. He is owned by Godolphin Racing LLC, and is trained by Kiaran P. McLaughlin. Alpha has come on strong in the minds of many racing fans, as he has already posted two wins in 2012, and is looking like a real contender for the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby. Alpha was bred by Darly, which is operated by his ownership group, Godolphin Racing, out of Dubai. His sire is Bernardini who is making quite a name for himself at stud. The winner of the 2006 Preakness Stakes has also sired two other Derby hopefuls for 2012, Consortium and Algorithms. Alpha’s dam, Munnaya, was considered to be a very good distance runner, as she won stakes races across the pond, in Britain. Alpha’s debut came at Saratoga in a special weight maiden race. Alan Garcia was his jockey and brought him from four lengths behind at the halfway point of the seven furlong race to win by nearly six lengths, pulling away. It didn’t take long for McLaughlin to put Alpha to the test, as his second contest was in the mile long Grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park. He more than held his own, finishing behind current early Derby favorite Union Rags, for second place. His third start was in Louisville, Kentucky at the world famous Churchill Downs in the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. This time he was jockeyed by Garrett Gomez and was facing top-notch competition in the way of Union Rags, Hansen, and Creative Cause, all of whom were up for 2-year-old of the year at the Eclipse Awards. Out of the gate, Alpha seemed ready to compete, moving into fourth and running with the leaders. That didn’t last however, as he began to fade after the first turn and finished a disappointing 11th. 2012 would bring renewed enthusiasm for Alpha. He’s started out his three-year-old career by winning two consecutive races and putting himself back into Triple Crown race discussions. In the Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct in New York he was ridden to victory by one of racing’s best jockeys, Ramon Dominguez. As seems to be the norm with Alpha, Dominguez kept the bay colt just behind the leaders and didn’t start surging until the ¾ mark, challenging race leader Il Vilano and winning by two lengths. Just a month later, Alpha was back on the dirt at Aqueduct in the Grade III Withers Stakes. This time, at a mile and 1/16, Dominguez let the race come to Alpha, staying just off the pace of the leaders. He started making a push as they approached the stretch taking the lead away from the front-running How Do I Win to set a mark of 1:44.23 in his three length victory. Alpha has put himself back in the thick of the Derby talk. He is sure to be a hit with bettors who like closers in distance races, as that has seemed to be his calling card. His next start is likely to come in the Wood Memorial, with a possible run in the Kentucky Derby to follow. If you want to see Alpha at the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May, you need to act fast. We are only a couple of months away from the “Run for the Roses” and DerbyDeals.com can take care of your needs. Whether you are just searching for tickets or wanting to get the whole Derby experience with a ticket package, DerbyDeals.com has you covered. Be sure to visit their website or give them a call at 877-DERBYKY and speak with one of their friendly associates who can help you find the right ticket package.