Thursday, July 9, 2009

'Rachel' goes slow and easy at Saratoga

By David Grening
Daily Racing Form

ELMONT, N.Y. - Superstar filly Rachel Alexandra went back to work Monday morning, breezing a half-mile over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga as she prepares for her yet-to-be-determined next start.

Rachel Alexandra breezed a half-mile in 50.67 seconds shortly before 6 a.m. Monday with regular exercise rider Dominic Terry in the irons. Track clockers caught her first quarter in 25 seconds and had her galloping out five furlongs in 1:05.

The work was Rachel Alexandra's first since her record-setting performance in the Mother Goose, a three-horse race she won by a stakes record 19 1/4 lengths while running 1 1/8 miles in a stakes-record 1:46.33.

"It was pretty much a normal work back for us. We weren't out to impress anybody,'' said Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen. "She breezed well.''

Rachel Alexandra has won all six of her starts this year, including the Kentucky Oaks by 20 1/4 lengths, and the Preakness, in which she defeated 12 males, including Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird.

Owner Jess Jackson, who was at Belmont Park on Saturday to watch Kensei win the Dwyer Stakes, said that day no decision had been made on Rachel Alexandra's next start.

The four most likely options, in chronological order, are the $1 million Delaware Handicap against older fillies and mares at Delaware Park on July 19; the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks against 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park on July 25; the $1 million Haskell Invitational for 3-year-olds at Monmouth Park on Aug. 2; and the $300,000 Go for Wand against older females the same day.

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