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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Elite Alex Shows No Issues in Return to Worktab


After a bit of a scare following his most recent start, Elite Alex (Worth Watching) returned to the worktab today with a bullet breeze under Calvin Borel at Oaklawn Park.

Clockers got the five-furlong move in 1:00.80 (1/28) over a fast track. Trainer Tim Ritchey sent Elite Alex out in company with 4-year-old filly Slam Cat, who was clocked in 1:01 (2/28). Elite Alex not only caught his target but swept past other workers who had broken off at around the same time.

On Jan. 15 in a one-mile entry-level allowance at Oaklawn, Elite Alex was favored at 6-5. Wearing front wraps, he hopped out of the gate and soon trailed the field behind slow fractions before making a five-wide move around the second turn and just missing the win.

Ritchey was concerned the next day. “He did hurt himself, but we think it is minor," the trainer said. "We’ll know more in a few days. I’ve always liked this colt, but I tend to reserve my opinions a while on young horses.”

Today, Ritchey was pleased and probably relieved.

“It was everything we asked him to do,” said the trainer. “He is talented, but this is just his first work back after his first race back. We will see what happens coming out of this and go from there.”

While Ritchey remains pragmatic, Borel’s longtime agent Jerry Hissam says the camp is having a hard time keeping their poker faces.

“I usually don’t watch workouts,” Hissam said. “I usually just watch Calvin when he comes back. He’s got this smile when he gets off a horse, that after all these years I know just by looking at him…I don’t have to ask any questions.”

Meanwhile, Borel verbalized his feelings, too. “He went terrific,” said Borel. “I’m really excited about him.”

--Edited from track notes with additional content by Dick Downey

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