04/19/2012 3:08PM

Kentucky Derby 2012: Alpha looks to be healing well

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Tom Keyser
Alpha cut up his left foreleg in the Wood Memorial.

On Thursday, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin got his first look at Alpha on the track since his runner-up finish in the Wood Memorial on April 7 and was satisfied with what he saw in the colt’s 1 1/8-mile gallop over Belmont Park’s main track.

Alpha missed about four days of training after developing an infection from cuts suffered in the shin of his left foreleg, incurred during the running of the Wood, in which he was beaten a neck by Gemologist.

“He looks bright, happy and healthy,” said McLaughlin, who returned from Lexington Wednesday following a funeral for his father, Ray McLaughlin, who died over the weekend. “As long as we keep going forward I don’t see any reason today we’re not going to make the Derby.”

McLaughlin said the wound Alpha suffered in the race is “healing well, but it’s always a concern.”

McLaughlin said that most likely Alpha will have one workout - on April 28 - and ship to Louisville on April 30. Originally, McLaughlin wanted to ship Alpha to Louisville early in part to get him some additional gate schooling.

McLaughlin is still waiting for Ramon Dominguez to make a decision between Alpha and Hansen. On Thursday morning, Dominguez said he had not yet decided.

“He knows him,” McLaughlin said. “The gate’s a little bit of a concern and I feel like Ramon is like having another gate guy with him. He’s on his back and in control.”