09/23/2012 2:07PM

Parx: Alpha still on target for Breeders' Cup Classic

Justin N. Lane
Pennsylvania Derby winner Handsome Mike will be pointed to the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Alpha, who finished sixth in the Pennsylvania Derby, beaten 4 1/4 lengths by Handsome Mike, will remain under consideration for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

 Alpha, who dead-heated for win in the Travers and who won the Jim Dandy, suffered his first loss since the Kentucky Derby.

 Jockey Ramon Dominguez told McLaughlin that Alpha’s nose was right up against the gate prior to the start of the race and he needed an assistant starter to back Alpha up a little bit.

 “When the guy moved him back he got mad and it caused us to break a touch slow, get squeezed, then he got keen,” McLaughlin said. “He wanted to be there close to the lead and then he went to the inside and couldn’t get out of the inside. I was shocked to see he only got beat [4 1/4] lengths.”

 Meanwhile, Handsome Mike, the two-length winner of the Pennsylvania Derby as the 19-1 longest shot on the board, came out of the race in good order, according to Parx-based trainer Cal Lynch, who saddled the horse for owner Paul Reddam.

 Lynch said that Handsome Mike lost a hind shoe in the race but otherwise came back fine.

 Lynch said that Handsome Mike was scheduled to be flown back to Southern California on Tuesday.

 On Saturday, Reddam said that Handsome Mike would likely be considered for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

 Macho Macho, the Pennsylvania Derby runner-up, returned to New York and will likely ship to Churchill Downs on Sept. 26, Asmussen said. Asmussen has not yet picked out a spot for Macho Macho.