03/20/2012 5:13PM

Fair Grounds: Alpha now seen likely for Louisiana Derby

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Barbara D. Livingston
Alpha has been under consideration for the Wood Memorial and Florida Derby as well as the Louisiana Derby.

Add Alpha’s name to the list of probable Louisiana Derby starters. Alpha, winner of the Withers Stakes at Aqueduct in his most recent start, had been under consideration for both the Wood Memorial and the Florida Derby in recent weeks, but now seems likely to ship to New Orleans from Florida next week.

“The chances are very good that we’re coming that way,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin told the Fair Grounds publicity department.

“We will stay here in Florida and work this last time, make sure all is well for everybody going into the Florida Derby, and then we’ll enter at the Fair Grounds, most likely,” McLaughlin said.

Alpha, a Bernardini colt owned by Godolphin, finished 11th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last fall but rebounded to capture the Count Fleet and the Withers this winter in New York. McLaughlin said Julien Leparoux would have the mount if Alpha does indeed start at Fair Grounds.