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Aug 03, 2012

Alpha is top dog in Jim Dandy Stakes

By: SPORTS NETWORK


Saratoga Springs, NY (Sports Network) - A sloppy track did not stop Alpha from posting a wire-to-wire victory in Saturday's $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. The 1 1/8 mile stakes for three-year-olds leads into the $1 million Travers on August 25.

Breaking from the inside post, Alpha quickly took the lead coming out of the gate with Ramon Dominguez in the saddle. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, the colt went off as the 9-5 favorite in the eight horse field.

Alpha led the field around the first turn and into the backstretch with Teeth of the Dog pressing the pace. Running in third was 7-2 second pick Neck 'n Neck with Prospective and Fast Falcon also near the leaders.

Around the turn for home Alpha still had the lead as Neck 'n Neck drew closer, guided by jockey Leandro Goncalves. Coming out of the turn and into the stretch Alpha kept a short lead over Neck 'n Neck. The favorite was able to hold off the challenger down the stretch and hit the wire two lengths to the good.

Getting up for third was trainer Bob Baffert's Liaison followed by Teeth of the Dog, My Adonis, Atigun, Fast Falcon and Prospective.

The time for the Jim Dandy was 1:50.47 on a sloppy Saratoga main track.

Owned by Godolphin Racing, Alpha earned $360,000 with Saturday's victory. The colt has now banked $860,000 with four wins in eight career starts.

Alpha was making his first start since finishing 12th to I'll Have Another in the Kentucky Derby. The colt posted early victories this year in the Count Fleet and Withers Stakes at Aqueduct. He finished a neck back in second to Gemologist in the Wood Memorial on April 7.

The victory was the first in the Jim Dandy for both trainer and jockey.

Alpha returned $5.60, $3.70 and $3.20. Neck 'n Neck paid $4.50 and $4.10, and Liaison paid $4.20 to show.



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