Fast Alex in Louisiana Derby Picture With Monday Win

Jim Tafel’s Fast Alex did not make it to the races as a 2-year-old, but as a 3-year-old he is fast becoming a rising star.

Ridden by Curt Bourque and trained by Greg Geier, Fast Alex was unhurried early but closed with a bold late rush to capture Monday’s $41,000 allowance optional claiming race for 3-year-olds at a mile and 40 yards by a length and a half.

Owned by the same man who won the 2007 Kentucky Derby and Travers with Street Sense, Fast Alex might now have Tafel dreaming of his second blanket of roses in the last four years, but more immediately Fast Alex has suddenly jumped into the probable field for the Grade II Louisiana Derby March 27.

Fast Alex, a half-brother to 2008 Louisiana Derby contestant Unbridled Vicar, returned mutuels of $6.40, $3.60 and $2.80, accomplished the mile and 40 yards in 1:41.46 and increased his career earnings to $52,730 with his second win in three lifetime starts.

Stonestreet Stables’ Island Soul, the 14-10 favorite in Monday’s event, took command in upper stretch, could not withstand the winner but was clearly second best by a length and a half over Strategy Racing Stable’s Awesome Encore, who set early splits of 25.04 and 49.11 before weakening to the third spot.

Island Soul paid $2.80 and $2.40 and Awesome Encore returned $8.20 to show.

Racing resumes Friday at Fair Grounds with a nine-race program beginning at 1:10 p.m.