The 2012 Aiken Trained Horse-of-the-Year Godolphin Racing’s Alpha was the center of attention before the start of Saturday’s Grade 2 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park.

The 4-year-old son of Bernardini was a bit fractious in the starting gate before the start of the race, hitting both sides of the stall, and breaking open the portal, but the quick thinking gate crew’s reflexes managed to keep him from getting away.

However, the colt who dead heated for first in last summer’s Grade 1 Travers Stakes, broke slightly to the outside at the start of the contest, raced off the pace in the two path before eventually tiring, finishing fourth in the five-horse field. It was the first time Alpha had been ridden by jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.

A four time stakes winner, it was the colt’s third start of 2013. Alpha‘s two previous starts in 2013 before Saturday’s Suburban were both in Dubai, where he finished 12th and fifth respectively. All four of Alpha’s stakes victories have come in New York. It was Alpha’s first start in more than three months, having last raced in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile at Meydan Racecourse on March 30.

Alpha was broken and trained in Aiken by Tim Jones.

The Kiaran McLaughlin charge increased his lifetime earnings to $1,317,500.