07/18/2012 4:56PM

Saratoga: Alpha confirmed for Jim Dandy

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Alpha, with Ramon Dominguez riding, wins the Withers.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Despite the defections of Bodemeister and Union Rags from the $1 million Haskell at Monmouth Park on July 29, Alpha will make his next start in the $600,000 Jim Dandy here at Saratoga on July 28, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin confirmed on Wednesday.

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McLaughlin said the fact Alpha has shown an affinity for Saratoga’s main track and that he doesn’t have to ship were the primary reasons for staying home.

“He’s training great over this track,” McLaughlin said. “We rarely have a horse go 58 and 4, but he did it the right way.”

On Monday, Alpha breezed five furlongs in 58.88 seconds over the main track. Alpha also won his career debut here.

McLaughlin said Ramon Dominguez, aboard Alpha for victories in the Count Fleet and Withers stakes during the winter at Aqueduct, would be back aboard Alpha.

McLaughlin reported that It’s Tricky vanned from Belmont to Saratoga on Wednesday and is being pointed to either the Ballerina on Aug. 24 of the Personal Ensign on Aug. 26, depending on who’s running where.

McLaughlin hinted that the Ballerina at seven furlongs may be the race of choice.

“She’s undefeated around one turn,” he said. “She’s gotten speedier with her age.”