August 26, 2009

And Her Next Race is ...

I’ve been waiting. We all have been waiting. The Alabama, The Travers, The Woodward, The Personal Ensign, or The Pennsylvania Derby all seemingly or supposedly had a chance to attract the mega-star filly. Turf writers, like myself, Rachel Alexandra’s legions of fans, and pretty much anyone connected to a horse that was considering any one of those five races were waiting. Tick-tock Jess Jackson, tick-tock. Why must you make us wait so long? Don’t you know we just want to see her run?

Finally, we have an answer.

Rachel could not run in the Pennsylvania Derby. Come on! Philadelphia Park or Saratoga? No offense to Philadelphia Park and it certainly would have been different if she had already raced at Saratoga. She was stabled all Summer at the Spa, she needed to race at this venerable race place.

Rachel could not run in the Alabama. Her races against 3-year-old fillies have been so ridiculously easy that no one interested in competitive horse racing wanted to see that again. As it turned out, Careless Jewel would have been the most competition that she would have faced within her division, but Rachel rightly will not run in a 3-year-old filly race ever again.

Rachel could not run in the Personal Ensign. The older mare division, save one, is frankly a little boring to me. If there is no Zenyatta, then there is no reason for Rachel to be running against the older females. By the way, if Zenyatta had come to Saratoga for the Personal Ensign, then it would have become my first choice.

Rachel could have run in the Travers, but… there is the matter of her stablemate, Kensei. It would have been fun to see her in the Mid-Summer Derby. One mile and a quarter, and one more chance to prove that she is the best 3-year-old out there. A chance to beat a horse, Quality Road, that people are talking about in glowing terms. Prestigious and historic, the Travers would have been a nice feather in her cap. In Kensei, however, the Rachel Alexandra team has a horse that could win the Travers and vault into the front runner position for 3-year-old champion. They obviously do not want to run them against each other.

Rachel will run in the Woodward. She will become the first 3-year-old filly, or for that matter, the first female of any age, ever to win this prestigious, Grade 1 race for older horses. Yes, I expect her to win. The list of Woodward winners reads like a who’s who of American racing; Sword Dancer, Kelso, Buckpasser, Damascus, Forego, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid, Slew O’ Gold, Precisionist, Alysheba, Easy Goer, Holy Bull, Cigar, Skip Away, Mineshaft, Ghostzapper, St Liam, Lawyer Ron, and Curlin have all won the Woodward. Now Rachel Alexandra. As she takes her next step towards greatness and once again does something no other 3-year-old filly has ever done.


LDP said...

What a list, with that kind of a list the Woodward should be just as impressive of a win for her as the Travers would've been. I too expect her to win, especially with how she is scaring off all the competition. BTW very good blog, Brian, keep this up and you'll catch the public's eye sooner or later.