12/31/2010 4:29PM

New Orleans Handicap on horizon for Fast Alex

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Fast Alex won this past Monday’s featured second-level allowance race by three-quarters of a length, but trainer Greg Geier thinks Fast Alex can go much higher than allowance competition. Now 3 for 3 in Fair Grounds dirt routes, Fast Alex has as a tentative long-range goal the New Orleans Handicap in March, Geier said Friday.

“I think he he’s got a lot more room to improve,” said Geier, who already won the first older-horse dirt-route stakes of the Fair Grounds meet, the $60,000 Tenacious, with Country Flavor. “He acts like he’s got more in the tank.”

Fast Alex rallied into a slow pace in Monday’s race and was going away at the end, and his performance might have been more productive than the moderate Beyer Speed Figure of 90 that it produced. Fast Alex, a son of Afleet Alex bred and owned by Jim Tafel, finished strongly once he leveled off in the stretch under Robby Albarado, and his time of 1:43.08 for one mile 70 yards on a slow-playing main track was quite good.

Geier said he and Tafel hadn’t formulated a specific plan for Fast Alex, who came out of his race in good physical shape. But Fast Alex and Country Flavor, whom Tafel also owns, will be pointed to different spots.