Stallion Feature: The “Little Superhorse,” Afleet Alex
Stallion Feature; The “Little Superhorse,” Afleet Alex: “Scrappy T blew the turn and Afleet Alex! Jeremy Rose almost fell out of the saddle! A dramatic occurrence at the top of the stretch!” Tom Durkin couldn’t have called the almost catastrophic event in the 2005 Preakness Stakes (G1) any better. Afleet Alex is likely best remembered for his Preakness victory. The “little superhorse” went to his knees at the top of the Pimlico homestretch, yet managed to gather himself, and in a flash, was five lengths in front of Scrappy T. Afleet Alex went on to win the Belmont Stakes (G1) in even more impressive fashion before retiring prematurely.
Afleet Alex was a star from the beginning. He wasn’t the most expensive horse in any of the sales, but once trainer Tim Ritchey got his hands on the Northern Afleet colt, things just went right. From the beginning, the colt knew how to win. Afleet Alex started his career at Delaware Park in a 5.5F maiden special weight, which he won easily. From there, the colt won an allowance at Delaware before shipping to Saratoga to run with the big boys. In his two graded stakes races at Saratoga, the 6F Sanford (G2) and the 7F Hopeful (G1), Afleet Alex went to Belmont to start in the G1 Champagne on a four race win streak.
In the Champagne, Afleet Alex missed the win by about a half-length to Proud Accolade (Yes It’s True). The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile should have been an easy race for the colt, but Afleet Alex was out finished by longshot Wilko (Awesome Again) by ¾ of a length. Afleet Alex finished the year with four wins and two seconds in six starts. He was ready to head down the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
Afleet Alex opened up his sophomore season with a stakes win at Oaklawn Park in the Mountain Valley Stakes at 6F. Prepping for the Derby, Ritchey sent Afleet Alex in the Rebel Stakes (G3) and the Arkansas Derby (G1) before his start in the Derby.
The Kentucky Derby could have easily had a different outcome had Afleet Alex not gotten blocked in on the rail and had instead been on the outside, but finished third behind 50-1 shot Giacomo and Closing Argument, was not a bad result. Tim Ritchey sent Jeremy Rose and Afleet Alex to the Preakness, in search of redemption.
Redemption tasted sweet, even after a horrific scene of events at the head of the Preakness stretch. Afleet became known as the “little superhorse” and went onto the Belmont Stakes (G1) with hopes of another Classic win. The Belmont seemed to be the easiest win of the colt’s career. He burst away from Giacomo on the turn and won by an easy seven lengths.
Retired prematurely in July of 2005, due to a hairline condylar fracture in his left cannon bone, the colt was syndicated for a stud fee of $45,000 with Gainesway Farm. Through the years, even while producing colts like Afleet Again, Afleet Express, Dublin, Texas Red, and the mare Iotapa, his stud fee fell consistently. In 2009, his fee was reduced to $25,000, $20,000 in 2012, $15,000 in 2013, and $12,500 in 2014, which it will remain in 2015.
Afleet Alex has produced horses that seem to get better with age, and they can excel on any surface. His sales averages of offspring are anywhere from $37,532 for a weanling to $82,083 for a two-year-old in training. His offspring have earned him over $6.1 million this season, making him the #20 stallion on the General Sires list of 2014.
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