Leading Horse of the Year candidate Rachel Alexandra returned to her home base at Churchill Downs Oct. 7 and settled into familiar surroundings in trainer Steve Asmussen’s Barn 38 following a long van ride from Saratoga, where she spent much of the summer and the early days of fall.
“She walked the shed this morning,” Asmussen said. “It was a little cool here this morning, but it feels great. She’s in her stall resting comfortably.”
Rachel Alexandra has no racing objectives on the near horizon. Co-owner Jess Jackson has reiterated his stance that she will not compete in the Breeders’ Cup early next month at Oak Tree at Santa Anita and Asmussen said his superstar filly has been taking it easy since her dramatic victory over males in the Woodward (gr. I) on Sept. 5.
“We’re just trying to keep her happy,” he said. “I’m very pleased with her attitude and her weight and how she’s doing. I think the time in Saratoga with everything gone was very beneficial to her. It just took a lot of the pressure off.”
The Medaglia d'Oro filly has won all eight of her starts in 2009, with three of those wins coming at the expense of males, including the Preakness (gr. I) and Haskell Invitational (gr. I). Her Woodward win was the first by a female in that prestigious race.
If Rachel Alexandra does not race again this year, Jackson has indicated she will compete next year as a 4-year-old. With her perfect eight-race campaign in 2009, her career record is 11-2-0 in 14 races with earnings of $2,948,354.