First-Out 2YO MSW Victor Albie Is Multiple G1-SW Alpha’s 1st Winner – Romps Against 6 at Belmont

Pepi Weis’s homebred ALBIE became the first winner from the first crop of multiple Grade 1 winner ALPHA ($1,815,667) when the long-striding chestnut colt beat six rivals by a lengthening daylight margin in a $62,000 maiden special at 1 1/16 miles over “good” Belmont inner turf on Sunday, September 23. Somewhat overlooked at double-digit odds as one of two first-time starters in the contest (the other finished last), Albie comfortably stalked the second-choice pacesetter from second place through six furlongs before swinging three-wide into the upper stretch. From there, the Alpha colt took off, accelerating his fourth individual quarter-mile split in about 23½ seconds to take command and completing his final five-sixteenths of a mile over the still-wet un-firm course in under 30 seconds. Finishing second through fourth behind him were the top three choices, including the near even-money runner-up, a son of a Kentucky-based top-five leading first-crop sire standing for $25,000 at the time of that colt’s conception. Albie won under a hand ride.

Albie is the seventh offspring bred or co-bred by Weis with her late husband, Albert Weis, from an unraced mare and is that mare’s fifth winner but her first offspring sired by Alpha and first 2-year-old colt winner. Almost exactly seven years earlier, Alpha – a son of Eclipse Champion and champion-siring Bernardini and out of a stakes-winning and multiple stakes-producing daughter of Nijinsky II – won first-out by six lengths in a Saratoga maiden special as a 2-year-old. Five weeks later, Alpha placed second among eight in Belmont’s Grade 1 Champagne Stakes, and within less than a year he won Grade 3, Grade 2, and Grade 1 stakes at Aqueduct and Saratoga, including the $1-million Travers. As a 4-year-old, Alpha won Saratoga’s Grade 1 Woodward Stakes, completing a rarely-achieved Travers-Woodward double that had been emulated only by North American champions and/or Hall of Fame members, including two of Alpha’s ancestors, Buckpasser and Key to the Mint – both of whom subsequently sired Eclipse Champions.

Another Travers-winning son of Bernardini, current top-ten third-crop sire Stay Thirsty, recently was represented as a sire by the winner of Saratoga’s Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes for 2-year-olds against seven rivals. Alpha raced as a homebred for Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley/Godolphin Racing, which also stands him.

May-Foaled 1st-Crop Alpha 2YO Filly Brings $150K at FT MidAtlantic as 10 Alpha 2YOs Gross $1,030,000

A May-foaled juvenile filly from the first crop of multiple Grade 1 winner ALPHA sold for $150,000 at the Monday, May 21 session of Fasig-Tipton Midlantic’s 2-year-olds in training auction in Timonium, Maryland, going to agent Marette Farrell on behalf of Ryan Exline’s and Justin Border’s Exline-Border Racing. Bred in New York by Dr. A. Leonard Pineau and Patricia Pineau and consigned as Hip No. 25 by Kenneth Lejeune Training Stables, this filly’s price was more than twice the sale’s average and nearly four times the sale’s median. She was the fourth six-figure sales 2-year-old of 2018 from Alpha’s first crop, which has produced ten juveniles that have grossed $1,030,000 at auctions this spring.

At the pre-sale under tack show, Hip No. 25 impressed and might have surprised some observers with a furlong workout in 10 4/5 seconds despite a series of mishaps. Since the filly is from a female family more oriented towards sturdy stayers than speed (the most prestigious win by any of her half-siblings was at 1¼ miles in Panama; a half-brother raced 69 times from ages 3 to 7), a sub-11-second furlong drill was probably unexpected.

Initially, her workout appeared to be fraught with peril: “The rider almost fell off, she switched to her left lead, got back into the middle (of the track), switched to her right lead and finished her work,” remarked consignor Lejeune to Ron Mitchell of BloodHorse magazine. “It was remarkable.”

Purchasing agent Farrell was equally impressed: “We just thought she was phenomenal,” said Farrell to Mitchell about the workout. “We really liked that she didn’t turn a hair with that, and she stayed focused, and she knew what her job was. She galloped out really well.”

Lejeune, who had purchased Hip No. 25 at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky’s 2017 October yearling sale, expressed several favorable recollections about the Alpha filly as a yearling: “She had a really great walk, showed well, and had a good attitude about her. Every expectation I had was there and more.”

Following Hip No. 25’s eventful workout, Lejeune was pleased with how much attention she drew from potential buyers wanting to look at her: “She was popular. She was never in her stall.”

Alpha 2nd-Leading 1st-Crop Sire at OBS April Sale of 2YOs With Average Auction Price of $165,000

Juveniles from the first crop of multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire ALPHA were well-received at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales (OBS) Company’s April 24-27 sale of 2-year-olds, as four brought prices totaling $660,000 for the second-highest average ($165,000) among the 29 first-crop sires represented at the OBS sale. Eight first-crop sires had prices averaging in six figures for their juveniles sold, and the 2018 average advertised stud fees for those eight stallions – among them being Alpha, who stands for $5,000 – is $13,250. The overall average price at the record-breaking OBS sale was $98,203.

Selling for $350,000 to trainer Linda Rice, Agent, was Alpha colt Hip No. 986 from the consignment of Eddie Wood, Agent LIV. This New York-bred bay colt had worked a quarter-mile in 21 1/5 at the pre-sale under tack show. He was bred by Other Things LLC.

Selling for $150,000 to Shaikh Rashed Humaid Rashed Al Nuami was Alpha colt Hip No. 367 from the consignment of Jose Munoz, Agent. An April-foaled New York-bred, this colt attracted attention at his under tack show appearance by working a quarter-mile in an unsurpassed clocking of 20 3/5 seconds. This colt was bred by Sequel Stallions New York, LLC.

Selling for $120,000 to David Meah, Agent for Team D, Circle B & John Holmes was Alpha colt Hip No. 11 from the consignment of Sequel Bloodstock, Agent. This colt also was bred in New York by Sequel Stallions New York, LLC.