Old Friends Welcomes Multiple Graded-Stakes Winning Millionaire Alpha

GEORGETOWN, KY – Dec. 9, 2023 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement farm in Georgetown, Ky., is pleased to announce that Godolphin’s multiple graded-stakes winning millionaire Alpha arrived at the farm on Friday, Dec. 8, 2023 for his retirement.

Bred by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Darley in America, Alpha, who is by Bernardini–Munnaya, by Nijinsky II, was foaled on March 11, 2009 in Kentucky.

Trained by Kiaran P. McLaughlin and owned by Godolphin his entire career, Alpha won his first start as a 2-year old in 2011 in a maiden special weight on Sept. 3 at Saratoga by six lengths. His win was so impressive, he was moved up into Grade 1 competition in his next start and finished second in the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park. However, in his next start, he finished 11th in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Churchill Downs in his last race of the year.

As a 3-year old in 2012, he opened the year with back-to-back wins at Aqueduct. The first was in the Count Fleet Stakes (Listed) for his first stakes win, and the second was in the Withers Stakes (G3) for his first graded stakes win.

Then, following a second in the Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) at Aqueduct, he finished 12th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) at Churchill Downs.

Right after the Derby, he won two in a row, both at Saratoga. The first was the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2), and the second was in a very exciting edition of the Travers Stakes (G1). In that race, Alpha was the 2-1 favorite, and he finished in a dead heat for the win with 33-1 long shot Golden Ticket. It was the first dead heat in the race since 1874.

Two races later, he finished 12th in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) on Nov. 3 at Santa Anita to end his racing season.

Alpha returned to the track in 2013 as a 4-year old and only had one win that year, but it was a big won as he captured the Woodward Stakes (G1) at Saratoga. That year, he also finished sixth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park, and eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Santa Anita.

As a 5-year old in 2014, he only raced three times, with his best finish coming in the Alydar Stakes (Black Type) at Saratoga where he finished third. Then, following a fifth in the Left Bank Stakes (Black Type) on Sept. 5 at Belmont Park, he was retired.

Alpha finished his career with a record of six wins, two seconds, one third, and $1,815,667 in earnings in 22 starts. Of those six wins, five were stakes races, with four of them being graded stakes victories.

Alpha began his stud career in 2015 at Sequel Stallions in New York, before moving to Haras Bagé do Sul in Brazil in 2019.

Some of Alpha’s leading progeny include stakes winners Alpha Chi Rho, who has earned $238,974 with 10 wins in 26 starts; and Genevieve’s Z VA, who earned $228,470 with 10 wins in 33 starts. In addition, Golden Rocket earned $194,360 with three wins in 17 starts, Beta earned $169,145 with eight wins in 34 starts, Saloon Girls earned $165,982 with five wins in 39 starts, and Albie earned $154,274 with three wins in 30 starts.

The 14-year old bay stallion was recently pensioned after completing stud duty in Brazil. He was then returned to the United States and arrived in Florida on Nov. 29, 2023, where he completed quarantine. He was then shipped to Godolphin in Kentucky, where he was inspected to ensure he was in good condition, and then sent to Old Friends.

“While Alpha was small in stature, he was big in heart,” said Michael Banahan, Director of Bloodstock, Godolphin USA. “He was a Saratoga specialist, winning multiple graded races there during his career. He became the second Travers winner for our stable, with his sire, Bernardini, being the first. But it’s also special being able to facilitate his return to Kentucky and Old Friends. We appreciate all that Michael and his team do to care for these retired Thoroughbreds and hope that visitors to Old Friends will enjoy seeing him there for years to come.”

Added Michael Blowen, President and founder of Old Friends, “Old Friends is honored that Godolphin selected us to retire Alpha. I was thrilled to be in Saratoga for his stunning victory in the Jim Dandy. I know that many of his fans will be as excited as I am to see him at Old Friends.”

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