Australian connection in 2010 Kentucky Derby

Australia has a Kentucky Derby connection this year through last Saturday’s G3 Sham Stakes winner Alphie’s Bet.  The west coast colt is out of a half-sister to G1 Qld Tatt’s Winter Stakes winner Absolut Glam.

Alphie’s Bet (3c Tribal Rule – Miss Alphie by Candi’s Gold) was forced to race three and four wide under jockey Alex Solis for much of the Sham’s 1800m journey.  Nevertheless, he had plenty in reserve to score by two lengths.  “This horse has the talent to go a long ways,” jockey Alex Solis said.  “I try not to think too far ahead.  You just have to pray to God he stays healthy.”

Trainer Alexis Barba isn’t sure of Alphie’s Bet’s next start.  The G1 Santa Anita Derby is scheduled for April 3 although there are alternatives in the Blue Grass Stakes and Lane’s End Stakes in Kentucky.

The 2010 Run for the Roses will be run under the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 1.

Alphie’s Bet still needs to increase his stakes earnings to make the Kentucky Derby field which is capped at 20 starters.  The Sham victory at Santa Anita increased his prizemoney to $141,320.

Alphie’s Bet was unplaced twice at Hollywood Park before finishing second to unbeaten colt Caracortado (Cat Dreams) in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes on Boxing Day.  He broke through fourth time out in a 2000m maiden at Santa Anita on January 15.

His sire Tribal Rule (Storm Cat) is based at River Edge Farm at Buellton in California.  He is a half-brother to G1 Santa Monica Hcp winner Key Phrase (Flying Paster).

Alphie’s Bet has several colonial connections on the bottom half of his pedigree.  His third dam Her Mink Coat (Affirmed) was exported to Australia in 1997 and his second dam Pine Away (Pine Bluff) arrived here in 2001.

Her Mink Coat foaled three southern hemisphere winners including G3 Furious Stakes winner Moonflute (Danehill).  She was sent to New Zealand in 2000 but died the following year.

Pine Away had already foaled Alphie’s Bet’s dam Miss Alphie before transferring Down Under.  Snowland filly Absolut Glam is the standout among her three locally bred winners.

Based at Widden Stud, Pine Away has proven a difficult breeder in recent years missing three times in the last four years.  She has a yearling colt by Snippetson and was covered by Sebring in September.