Monday, 30 April 2012
: Godolphin entry Alpha is on course for Saturday's Kentucky Derby after pleasing trainer Kiaran McLaughlin with his fast work at Belmont Park in New York on Saturday.
The three-year-old Bernardini colt went five furlongs in a brisk 59.3s under Rajiv Maragh and will now travel from New York to Churchill Downs on Monday to prepare for Saturday's $2 million classic over 10 furlongs on dirt.
McLaughlin commented: “Alpha looked great in his work this morning and he is cooling out well afterwards, so it is all systems go for the Kentucky Derby.
“He suffered a cut in the Wood Memorial but it has healed up quite well. It took us a couple of days to get over it but we have caught up with his preparation and we are in good shape in the moment.
"Rajiv Maragh worked Alpha this morning and he is probably the most likely jockey for him in the Kentucky Derby as things stand.
"We have him on standby, but we will wait just to see if anything happens with the other horses working over the next few days as we want to give ourselves every option.
"We haven't had any hold ups with the weather in New York and I will go with Alpha when he flies to Churchill Downs on Monday.
"It's hard to be confident going into the Kentucky Derby but Alpha is doing great and we think that he will perform on the day.
Meanwhile Godolphin's Dubai World Cup runner-up Caponni is among seven Godolphin entries in the G1 Arlington Million at Arlington Park in Chicago on August 18.
Meanwhile Bob Baffert's Arkansas Derby winner Bodemeister worked five furlongs in a strong 59.48 on a muddy Churchill Downs track on Sunday in his final prep for the Kentucky Derby.
"I'm glad I got the work in," said Baffert. "I was a bit leery with all the rain and afraid about how the track would be.
"It turned out the track was in perfect shape. He got a hold of it; it was nice and firm.
"I was glad I didn't work him yesterday when the track was dry and loose; I worry about stuff like that."
Bodemeister is owned by Ahmed Zayat's Zayat Stables with a minority interest in the colt purchased recently by Mike and Tiffany Moreno of Southern Equine Stable.
Bodemeister has had only four starts heading into the Derby and did not race as a 2-year-old but Baffert believes the colt is improving at the right time.
"He is still learning but the right timing has worked out with him," Baffert said.
Bodemeister broke his maiden at his second start at Santa Anita in February and then finished second in the G2 San Felipe Stakes before a smashing near wire-to-wire performance in the Arkansas Derby on April 14 to win by 9.5 lengths.
Bodemeister will be ridden in the Kentucky Derby by Mike Smith, who was also aboard him in the Arkansas Derby.
His work rider Martin Garcia will be riding the Baffert-trained Liaison in the Kentucky Derby.
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