Thursday, September 3, 2009

'Rachel' draws post 3 for Woodward

David Grening,
Daily Racing Form

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The 3-year-old filly Rachel Alexandra's run for history will appropriately begin from post position 3 when she faces seven older males for the first time in Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga. She was installed as the 1-2 favorite by New York Racing Association oddsmaker Eric Donovan.

Rachel Alexandra will attempt to become the first filly or mare to win the Woodward, which is being run for the 56th time on Saturday and has a roster of winners that includes Curlin, Cigar, Spectacular Bid, Affirmed, Seattle Slew, Forego (four times), and Kelso (three times). She is also attempting to become the first 3-year-old filly to win a Grade 1 route race on dirt in the modern era.

As a 3-year-old filly, Rachel Alexandra gets in with 118 pounds, eight less than her male counterparts, who all carry 126. Regular rider Calvin Borel will be up.

Rachel Alexandra's competition will include Whitney winner Bullsbay, Stephen Foster winner Macho Again, the multiple group stakes winner Asiatic Boy, multiple stakes winner Cool Coal Man, Oaklawn Handicap winner It's a Bird, 2008 Woodward runner-up Past the Point, and 2008 Belmont Stakes winner Da' Tara.

"She gives us confidence watching her train, watching her energy level, that she can beat any horse on any given day," said Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen. "That being said, I do feel this is the strongest group she's faced."

1 comment:

D.S. Williamson said...

I agree that this may well be Rachel's toughest race, but I really think she's up for it. It's been a great year for her and this would be a most fitting ending to the regular season. D.S. Williamson

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