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May 27, 2005

Afleet Alex takes Preakness Stakes


Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Afleet Alex barely averted disaster to win the 130th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico. The three-year-old colt rebounded from a third place finish in the Kentucky Derby to win the second leg of racing's Triple Crown.

A full field of 14 colts left the starting gate in the 1 3/16 mile race. Afleet Alex, ridden by Jeremy Rose, started from post 12 and immediately headed to the rail. Rose rode his mount through the first mile in an almost perfect manner.

The pace in the Preakness was set by High Limit with Going Wild, Scrappy T and Closing Argument pressing the pace. Running near the rear of the field was Afleet Alex and Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo.

Afleet Alex raced up the backstretch along the inside to save ground and began his move to lead around the turn home. Coming out of the final turn Scrappy T had the lead with Afleet Alex bearing down from the outside.

Just as Afleet Alex reached Scrappy T coming out of the turn, jockey Ramon Dominguez hit his horse with the whip on the left side. This caused the leader to bolt to the outside and into the path of Afleet Alex.

Afleet Alex, looking like a certain winner, nearly went to his knees at the top of the stretch. Somehow Jeremy Rose remained in the saddle and the colt regained his stride to go on and win the Preakness Stakes.

Afleet registered a five length win over Scrappy T, who was also able to remain running to finish second. Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo finished third followed by Sun King, High Limit, Noble Causeway, Greeley's Galaxy, Malibu Moonshine, Closing Argument, High Fly, Hal's Image, Wilko, Galloping Grocer and Going Wild.

The time for the $1 million Preakness Stakes was 1:55 on a fast track.

Afleet Alex went off as the second choice in the Kentucky Derby at 9-2 and was a lukewarm 3-1 favorite for the Preakness. The colt has now won seven of 11 lifetime starts and adds $650,000 to his bankroll to go over the $2 million mark. Afleet Alex is owned by Cash is King Stables and trained by Tim Ritchey.

Next up for the Preakness Stakes winner is the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 11 at Belmont Park.

Afleet Alex returned $8.60, $5.00 and $3.20. Scrappy T paid $11.20 and $5.80, and Giacomo paid $4.80 for show.

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