Updated on 09/17/2011 8:56PM

Afleet Alex super in debut

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Jeff Coady/Coady Photography
Afleet Alex wins the $50,000 Mountain Valley Stakes at Oaklawn Park by 2 3/4-lengths.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Afleet Alex turned in an outstanding effort in his seasonal debut Saturday in the $50,000 at Oaklawn Park, storming to a 2 3/4-length win in the six-furlong race that will serve as a stepping-stone to the Grade 3, $250,000 Rebel Stakes here March 19.

The race also gives Afleet Alex three races before the Kentucky Derby.

Afleet Alex covered the six furlongs in the Mountain Valley in 1:09.52. He went out seven furlongs in 1:22.60 and galloped out a mile in 1:39.40, according to clockers at Oaklawn.

Afleet Alex paid $2.60 and created a minus show pool of $102,932.

Afleet Alex broke next to last in the six-horse field, as Razor and jumped out to the lead and dueled with Rocky River through an opening quarter in 21.61 seconds. Afleet Alex moved up quickly down the backside and around the turn, as Razor shook pace rival Rocky River and continued to lead the field through a half-mile in 44.84 seconds. Razor was still in front at the eighth pole, but Afleet Alex started his bid, passed Razor, who bothered him when engaged, and was soon clear by a length at the sixteenth pole. Jeremy Rose rode the winner for trainer Tim Ritchey.

"I wanted to see him finish, and that's what he certainly did today," said Ritchey.

Afleet Alex raced with front wraps for the first time Saturday, and Ritchey said the move was simply for precaution and protection.

Ritchey said Afleet Alex will have one more work before the Rebel.

Afleet Alex earned $30,000 for the win, which was his fifth from seven career starts. He has now earned $710,800.

Razor held second in the Mountain Valley, 4 1/4 lengths clear of third-place finisher Smoke Smoke Smoke. The remaining order of finish was Sir Laff Alot, Dr. Meatball, and Rocky River.