The first opportunity for horses taking the New York path to the Derby to pick up graded stakes earnings is the $200,000 Withers Stakes (G3), a 1 1/16 mile trip over the inner dirt track at Aqueduct. A field of 6 went to post, with Alpha sent off as the 3-10 favorite off his 2 1/2 length win in the Count Fleet last out after finishing 11th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. In to challenge him included 11-2 second choice Hakama, winner of two straight and making his stakes debut, and 13-2 third choice Tiger Walk, also a winner of his last 2 starts and making his stakes debut.
How Do I Win went to the lead first time past the stands and he set fractions of 23.71, 48.04, and 1:12.71 over the fast track while pressed by Hakama to his outside and Alpha another length behind in third. Entering the stretch, Alpha quickly surged to the front, opening up a 4 length lead on the tiring How Do I Win. Speightscity, 4th early, closed late to pass tiring horses but was no match for Alpha who cruised past the post 3 1/4 lengths ahead in 1:44.23. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to late-running Tiger Walk third.
Results Chart from Daily Racing Form