Afleet Alex will skip Classic
NEW YORK — Afleet Alex won’t run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic after all. Trainer Tim Ritchey and veterinarian Patricia Hogan said Monday that the Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner’s leg injury is not fully healed and the popular 3-year-old colt won’t be ready for such a tough race on Oct. 29 at Belmont Park. But the prospect of running this weekend, either at Belmont Park or at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., then coming back two weeks later and taking on the top horses in training in the $4 million BC Classic was just too much to ask. “He’s just too valuable, and the owners care a lot about him,” Hogan said. “They are looking at the bigger picture and want to race him next year.” Afleet Alex underwent surgery on the ankle a week after the injury was discovered, and a screw was inserted in the bone. A few weeks later, though, Ritchey had Alex walking, then jogging, then galloping. The workouts over the last two weeks were impressive, but Hogan was not totally convinced. “This was a test to see if there was a possibility of returning to racing within the scope of the Breeders’ Cup races,” Ritchey and Hogan said in statement on the Afleet Alex’s official Web site. “All involved with Alex agreed that if that was to be a possibility, then the healing process was to have been completed 100 percent for this to be considered. After the recent works, Alex was radiographed again, and although it is very subtle, it is evident that bone is still in the end stages of the healing process. We are 99 percent there, but for this horse we require 100 percent.” Afleet Alex will remain in training and could race again before the end of the year, Hogan said. One scenario includes a prep race, followed by a start in the prestigious Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Nov. 26. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 “The horse is doing very well clinically and has progressed remarkably well,” Hogan said. Afleet Alex has won eight of 12 career starts for earnings of $2,765,800 for Cash Is King Stable. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “It came down to crunch time, to enter him in a prep race, and there just wasn’t enough time,” said Hogan, who has viewed X-rays every two weeks since Afleet Alex was sidelined with a fractured left-front cannon bone July 21. “I was very much on the fence. It was a tough decision, but it’s better to be safe and just wait.” Afleet Alex, the star of the Triple Crown series with his acrobatic Preakness win and overpowering Belmont victory, had two strong workouts on the comeback trail and was looking to run in the Classic after a prep race.