Derby developments today, as two contenders, Afleet Alex and Spanish Chestnut both worked out. Derby fever is a riot; it may be over two months before the race, but last year’s G1 Hopeful winner Afleet Alex’s workout is big news in the racing world today. It was his first workout of the year, and he zipped a half in :47.
The time was the second fastest of 40 at the distance. Afleet Alex (Northern Afleet) was caught by trainer Tim Ritchey galloping out five furlongs in 59.60 seconds, which was faster than the day's best work at that distance.He’s working towards a March 19 return in the G3 Rebel at Oaklawn. Meanwhile, G2 San Rafael winner Spanish Chestnut (Horse Chestnut) worked 6f from the gate in preparation for the G2 Santa Catalina at 1 1/16 miles on March 5.
"Not too many horses, after they've worked two or three times, are going to gallop out in 59 and 3," Ritchey said. [Daily Racing Form]
And "Golden Shine Races Into Triple Crown Picture", so says the Bloodhorse of the cleverly-named son of Touch Gold, out of the hideously named Mop Squeezer, ugh!
Ridden by jockey Rene Douglas, the bay son of Touch Gold stalked the early pace of :23 4/5, :47 4/5 and 1:12 1/5 set by Big Top Cat before slipping inside along the rail and taking command from his laboring rival at the top of the stretch. Under little more than a hand ride, Golden Shine passed the eighth pole in 1:37 3/5 before stopping the clock in 1:44 over a main track listed as fast.That would be just his 4th career start, a Grade 2 stakes off of a maiden win and a rail skimming win against 4 unproven rivals. Derby fever.
Trainer David Hofmans said Golden Shine would make his next start in the March 19 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II).[Bloodhorse]