05/01/2012 1:14PM

Kentucky Derby 2012: McLaughlin glad to have Alpha at Churchill

Barbara D. Livingston
Alpha gallops over the Churchill Downs track on Tuesday morning.

Following his Monday arrival, Wood Memorial runner-up Alpha was on the track Tuesday morning for a 1 3/8-mile gallop. Though a routine exercise, it was significant in the fact that his presence here made the Derby seem more of a reality to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

Alpha suffered a cut on his left shin in the Wood that developed into an infection that needed to be treated with antibiotics and forced Alpha to miss one work.

“I thought we were in real trouble five, six, days out of the” Wood, McLaughlin said. “It got a little scary with it not healing properly. As soon as we switched antibiotics, it got better and better.”

McLaughlin said before he left Belmont Park on Monday, he shook hands with assistant trainer Art Magnuson and said “it’s almost a miracle we’re here.”

On Tuesday, Alpha suffered a superficial cut to the back of his right front ankle jogging in the shed row for the state veterinarians.
Alpha also received a shot of the medication Polyglycan, which he receives weekly. The therapeutic drug is used to heal cartilage.

McLaughlin said he planned on taking Alpha to the starting gate Wednesday. In last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Alpha reared up in the gate, unseating jockey Garrett Gomez.

“I want the gate crew to see how much better he is now,” McLaughlin said. “I feel like that’s all behind us, but with 150,000 people screaming, you don’t know.”

Cate Swan-Costanzo More than 1 year ago
Antibiotics can know you out. Pass here
Ronnie G More than 1 year ago
mclaughlin is a great trainer but i cant get the picture of gemologists taking alphas best shot in wood and gemologists just pulled back away. i agree the race sets up for him but i know he had a dreadful effort in bc juv and his dad, the great bernadini struggleed with cd in 2006 classic. he was so great he still got 2nd but u could definitely tell he didnt like the track.
Rodney Dangerfield More than 1 year ago
Ronnie, I guess I was watching the wrong race "gemologists just pulled back away". Good luck to you anyway.
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
People can jump on all these articles about Optimizer and Mark Valeski because I sure did as well. Folks, say what you will, this colt, Alpha is all business. Dont be surprised to see him take it all down. And now for your more realistic odds on him. Im going to stretch to say he will be bet down to 5 or 6 -1 on Saturday. Watch that tote, he will be one taking real money.
saul d More than 1 year ago
Alpha has a great shot as the front and on pace speed should stop. the godolphin stable has wanted to win the derby for many years. this horse has a great shot at 25-1 or better. i look for alpha and daddy nose best to come flying in the stretch with hopefully good racing luck
JeanK More than 1 year ago
McLaughlin is an incredible trainer. He is aiming for the Belmont with this colt. He might skip the Preakness with Alpha even if he wins the Derby. Light boned colt benefitted more staying in his stall after the Wood. He has a healthy horse, and this trainer knows how to keep them fit and ready. Good luck Mr. McLaughlin I know Alpha's family very well. Top quality. Can win, and am definite he'll be in the top 3. He'll be fine in the gate with the proper jockey in the saddle.
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
You dont know too much about Kiaran.
Maynard More than 1 year ago
Well, of course we don't. If you do, why don't you enlighten us instead of making this enigmatic comment?
Ian GW More than 1 year ago
I would say 12-1
Robert Beard More than 1 year ago
Dawood K More than 1 year ago
Any one has any idea what the odd's would be on my Alpha baby ? If he goes off more than 10-1, my payment for the motorhome is in the bag, hope so !
steve szymanski More than 1 year ago
This one pays the mortgage off.
Jd Staton More than 1 year ago
i hope ur rite
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Jd Staton More than 1 year ago
that would make more since. im thinking garcia rode alpha at one point