August 29, 2010

Time to Open Your Eyes … This is Rachel

It’s time boys and girls. It’s time to open your eyes and see what is in front of you. Rachel Alexandra is ready, are you?

To those who said she could not get the distance. Today is the day. In today’s Personal Ensign, she will get that classic ten furlongs that so many have doubted she could handle. What do we know about her chances to handle a mile and a quarter? Rachel is sired by the excellent runner Medaglia d’Oro, who won the ten furlong Travers, and was second in the 12 furlong Belmont, not to mention consecutive seconds in the 1 ¼ mile Breeders’ Cup Classic. It was no surprise that he could get the distance, being out of the superior sire line of Sadler’s Wells. Will his daughter be able to navigate the classic distance? In races at nine furlongs or longer, Rachel has a perfect record of seven wins in seven tries. The day she won the 1 3/16 Preakness by one length, she was hounded for most of the first mile by a world class sprinter named Big Drama. Handle the distance? Rachel can and will.

To those who said she could beat top competition. Today is the day. Life at Ten is the now horse. She has won six in a row, including a grade 1 and a grade 2 in her last two starts. She is coming off a win at this distance, and I have seen many pick her to win the Personal Ensign. Good. I am glad that Rachel will run against a really good horse. Is she as good as Rachel? Whether you look at Beyer speed figures, or the Ragozin numbers, Life at Ten is simply not in the same stratosphere as the future Hall of Famer. She wasn’t last year, and she is not this year, and once they go around the track today that will become clear. I hope Life at Ten brings her best today, I honestly do, she will need it to test Rachel today. Personally I think Life at Ten’s race for second with the rapidly improving Miss Singhsix might be the interesting contest. Bring it on Life at Ten.

To those who said she could not run like she did last year, and no longer handle grade 1 competition. Today will be further evidence that the ultimate plan is working. Last year she was pushed early for the big races of the Spring and Summer. She passed with flying colors and in historic fashion. In winning all five grade 1 races she entered, Rachel did things never before done by a sophomore filly. Her average margin of victory in those grade 1 wins was by an astounding figure of more than nine lengths. This year she has been asked much more judiciously to have her at her best in November. She is getting better month by month, and is already running big. Don’t forget in her win in the Fleur de Lis, she carried more weight and ran faster than did the much respected Blame in winning the Foster a few races later. Races in which he was all out, and she was not. Despite her easy wins in her last two, people are not satisfied. Fine. This year is designed for her to have plenty more left in the tank as the races become more important. The Breeders’ Cup is the goal this year. Rachel has already defeated a dozen horses who have won grade 1 races. That list will grow today. Is she the same horse as last year? I think in the end, she will prove to be even better.

Rachel Alexandra runs today in the Personal Ensign … I say enjoy the show!

16 comments:

ThePixiePoet said...

Love this article! You said everything I wanted to express but couldn't fit onto comments against the "Rachel-naysayers"!

She is the most underestimated filly/mare right now! She has not one but TWO races in the TOP TEN Beyer Speed Figures so far this year (in a dirt route race, male or female). She has the HIGHEST speed figure of any female so far this year.

She keeps getting better and will blow them away at the Breeder's Cup!

LDP said...

There is no doubt in my mind who is the better filly. LAT is fast, but she has yet to prove if she can be pushed to the max early and still run rivals off their feet in the end.

I say RA wins by 3-5 lengths with Calvin sitting chilly as can be in the last furlong.

markinsac said...

WOW, she and this article sure came up FLAT!

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

She is the most overrated overhyped horse in thoroughbred racing history.

She joins a select group of HOY that has never won at the classic distance and the first ever HOY that lost at 1-9, 1-5, 2-5

markinsac said...

I can see they finally erected a statue of Rachel at Saratoga. It's located between the sixteenth pole and the finish line.

Anonymous said...

Your next article should be an apology to the public for participating in the sham that this horse is. She is just as good as she was last year. She just never was that good. She is a nice horse, she might just get up to win the distaff this year. But nothing is wrong with her. She beat up on a weak 3 year old division last year and then took a shot against a weak Woodward field. You have spent all this time pumping up this lie, now go make amends.

Brian Zipse said...

Sorry folks, I still believe she is a phenomenal race horse.

markinsac said...

phenonamal race horses don't let Persistently walk right by them. If you want to see a phenominal race horse, go see Zenyatta, she NEVER loses.

Brian Zipse said...

Let's see; Secretariat lost to Onion and Angle Light, Affirmed lost to Little Reb and Radar Ahead, Spectacular Bid lost to Groton High and Golden Act. Shall I go on?

Seen Zenyatta, she is a phenomenal horse.

RachelAlex said...

Zenyatta may be a phenomenal horse, but she evidently isn't choosy about who her fans are....

markinsac said...

I've seen Zenyatta race live 7 times. At each gathering, the grandstand is full of people who come to see her and cheer her on. We tell each other our Zenyatta experiences. At Rachel's Saratoga appearance on Sunday, 23,000 showed up. At Zenyatta's last appearance at Del Mar, 32,000 showed up. It's clear which horse has the most loyal fans. I have been rough with Rachel because HER fans have compared Zen with "Peppers Pride". Such an insult to a horse who has done SO much more than Rachel. I give Rachel credit for a great 3-year-old season, but it's the whole body of work--a term Rachel liked to use when describing the HOTY debate last year, that makes Zenyatta great. Zenyatta didn't lose to Onion, Zenyatta didn't lose to nobody!

Brian Zipse said...

Mark, I appreciate your passion for the sport and for Zenyatta. She is special, and I hope you have the opportunity to see her more.

RachelAlex said...

I have read many many more nasty, vicious comments about Rachel--some poster commented that she would make great dog food. How do you think that makes us Rachel fans feel? It is totally unnecessary, and I feel that if you would not have the nerve to say these comments to a person's face, you should not be able hide behind the anonymity of the Internet.

BTW, some of Zenyatta's fans also seem to have an issue with correct usage of the English language.

Anonymous said...

What's with all the Rachel hate? It's not like she ran a complete dud on Sunday. In fact, she ran her heart out! What more could you ask of her?

So a mile and a quarter isn't her best distance. This makes her overrated? Overhyped? Many horses can't get 10 furlongs. Is Rachel's dominance at a mile and an eighth forgotten just because of that extra furlong? And Persistently hardly cruised by Rachel - it took her the whole stretch.

My heart went out to her in this one. She definitely ran one of her bravest races to date. Remember - whatever happens during the rest of 2010, whatever insults get thrown her way, nothing's going to take away her (dare I say it) phenomenal, 2009 campaign.

And I happen to say all of that as one of the biggest Zenyatta fans out there.

-Jasmine

markinsac said...

Anonmous, "Over-hyped" is correct. Zenyatta should have won the HOTY the last 2 years. But since most of the voters (sports writers) are located in the east, they will vote for an east-coast horse, preferrably owned by J. Jackson (Curlin and Rachel). They WILL NOT vote for an undefeated California horse. If Zenyatta wins the BC Classic, some of them will still vote against her, others, in order to keep their jobs will vote for Zen while holding their noses. Every fan poll last year said Zenyatta should have won the HOTY! And the east coast has the most fans. It's the writers' bias that I'm venting against. But Rachel has been exposed. One Dallas newspaper writer proclaimed Rachel the "Horse of the Decade", even though she never won a BC race or won at a mile and a quarter. Think how Tiznow, Curlin, Ghostzapper or Zenyatta must feel? Over-hyped . . .YES!

markinsac said...

Anonmous, "Over-hyped" is correct. Zenyatta should have won the HOTY the last 2 years. But since most of the voters (sports writers) are located in the east, they will vote for an east-coast horse, preferrably owned by J. Jackson (Curlin and Rachel). They WILL NOT vote for an undefeated California horse. If Zenyatta wins the BC Classic, some of them will still vote against her, others, in order to keep their jobs will vote for Zen while holding their noses. Every fan poll last year said Zenyatta should have won the HOTY! And the east coast has the most fans. It's the writers' bias that I'm venting against. But Rachel has been exposed. One Dallas newspaper writer proclaimed Rachel the "Horse of the Decade", even though she never won a BC race or won at a mile and a quarter. Think how Tiznow, Curlin, Ghostzapper or Zenyatta must feel? Over-hyped . . .YES!