02/21/2011 6:28PM

Oaklawn: Elite Alex workout notes


Elite Alex, who will run in the upcoming Grade 3, $250,000 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park, had an impressive final work for the race on Feb. 14. He breezed seven furlongs in 1:27, working from the gate in a set of three. He sat about a length and a half off his company early, as clockers carried him through fractions of 36.60 seconds for the first three-eighths and 49.40 for the half-mile. He disposed of his company through five furlongs in 1:01.80, continued his drill through six furlongs in 1:14.20 - with the bullet for the morning being 1:15. Elite Alex continued his work to the seven eighths pole, in the 1:27.


"I expect him to run a very professional race," said Tim Ritchey, who co-owns and trains $300,000 yearling purchase Elite Alex. "He’s trained like a good horse and I expect he'll run like a good horse."


Elite Alex comes into the Southwest off a runner-up finish to Alternation, a winner earlier on the card, in an allowance here Jan. 15. Elite Alex spotted the field several lengths after stumbling badly at the start, then missed by a head in what was his two-turn debut. Part of the reason Elite Alex worked from the gate the other morning was because of the situation from the gate in the allowance. 


"Just the fact that he had a bad experience there, I wanted to work him out of it," Rithey said. "We loaded him, let him stand for a little while, and he was an absolute gentleman. We backed him out, loaded everybody for the work, the other two horses alongside of him, and let him break and he came out of there straight and never took a bad step.


"The more experiences they're exposed to in the mornings, the better they're going to be in the long run."