Updated on 09/17/2011 10:07PM

Rockport Harbor progressing


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Rockport Harbor walked the shedrow on Monday, one day after being found to have a blood clot in his neck that has made his status day-to-day for the Grade 2, $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn April 16.

If he cannot make the 1 1/8-mile race, he will target the Grade 2, $325,000 Coolmore Lexington at 1 1/16 miles at Keeneland on April 23.

Rockport Harbor first missed training last Saturday, and is not scheduled to go back to the track until Wednesday. His health was progressing as of Monday.

"Everything's good," said John Servis, who trains Rockport Harbor. "He's better today. He seems a little more interested in what's going on. Yesterday, he was lethargic."

Servis found a knot on the right side of Rockport Harbor's neck on Saturday morning, and the next day an ultrasound was performed by Doug Byars, a veterinarian who flew in from Lexington, Ky. A blood clot was found in a vein, and it is being treated with a combination of blood thinners and antibiotics. There were no signs of an abscess as of Monday, said Servis.

"The main concern is the blood clot dissolving," he said. "Dr. Byars doesn't want him to go to the racetrack and break that loose and have it travel somewhere, so we can't send him to the track until Wednesday."

Owned by Fox Hill Farms, Rockport Harbor has won 4 of 5 starts, including the Grade 2 Remsen and Grade 3 Nashua, both at Aqueduct.

Pivotal work for Afleet Alex

Afleet Alex, who was found to have a lung infection after finishing sixth as the favorite in the Grade 3, $250,000 Rebel on March 19, had a pivotal work on Sunday. He breezed one mile in 1:40.88 in a move that keeps him on course for the Arkansas Derby.

"I think the work put us back where we need to be," said Tim Ritchey, who trains Afleet Alex. "He'll need to work one more time. We'll do a little something with him, probably put a little more speed into him. This was more of an endurance kind of work."

Afleet Alex worked right after the renovation break, coming onto the track a few minutes after 9 a.m. on Sunday. He backtracked, then went into his work at the finish line, breaking off a few lengths behind workmate My Buddy Frank.

Afleet Alex sat a few lengths behind My Buddy Frank down the backside. He drew even midway on the final turn, overtook him soon afterward, and cruised to the wire in hand under jockey Jeremy Rose. Afleet Alex galloped out the mile and an eighth in 1:54.12.

His fractions were 13.43 seconds for the opening eighth of a mile, 26.82 for the opening quarter, 39.93 for three furlongs, 52.98 for four furlongs, 1:06 for five furlongs, and 1:18.04.

"He finished well," Ritchey said after the work on Sunday. "He went the last three eighths in 34.40, the last quarter in 22 and change, and actually galloped out an eighth of a mile after that in 13 and some change. It was slow early, but the fact that he finished good, that's what we're looking for. I think we're right on track."

Afleet Alex scoped clean after the workout, said Ritchey, and walked the shedrow on Monday. Afleet Alex won the Grade 1 Hopeful last year, and in his first start at 3 won the $50,000 Mountain Valley at Oaklawn, earning a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 106. He races for the Cash Is King Stable.

Greater Good back on the track

Greater Good came onto the track as soon as it was opened on Monday, and after taking in the sights for a while galloped a mile and three-quarters. He was returning to the track for the first time since breezing five furlongs in 1:04.55 on Saturday. He is scheduled to have a serious six-furlong workout Saturday, said his trainer, Bob Holthus.

"He had a nice little gallop," Holthus said Monday. "He looked like he played along, felt pretty good. He's happy and I'm happy."

Greater Good won the Rebel, and overall has four two-turn stakes wins to his credit, making him one of the most accomplished candidates for the Kentucky Derby. He will make his next start in the Arkansas Derby.

Dates set for 2006

Oaklawn Park will race 56 dates next year after the Arkansas Racing Commission approved a calendar submitted by the track during a meeting on Saturday.

* A scheduled hearing on Monday for jockey Donnie Meche, who refused to take a urine test and allegedly attempted to bribe a security official, was postponed a few days at the request of an attorney for Meche.