Majority owner Jess Jackson said on a national teleconference Sept. 1 that plans for Rachel Alexandra following Saturday’s $750,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) are up in the air, and he did not dismiss the idea of putting her away for the year.
“We have several options, including the Beldame Stakes (gr. I), if Zenyatta should show up for that,” Jackson said. “But if she should win the Woodward, there would be no necessity to run her again. She’s a tired horse in a way, which is why we’ve been giving her long periods of time between races. We plan on racing her in 2010. It’s going to be her decision whether she’s ready to race after the Woodward. If Zenyatta should come to the Beldame that would certainly direct us to that race.
“As we did with Curlin, history is always on our mind. Every time she passes one of the hurdles we’ve given her we go on to the next. It’s all about defining her greatness.”
Jackson also quashed any ideas of Rachel Alexandra running in next year’s Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) at the new Meydan track, because of the installation of a synthetic surface (Tapeta).
Jackson said he is not taking the Woodward lightly, and realizes it is a tall task to take on older horses.
“We’re not discounting any of the horses in this race,” Jackson said. “These horses are the best of their age group.”
As for the decision to point for the Woodward instead of the Travers (gr. I), Jackson said, “The trainer has the health and condition of his charge primarily on his mind, and I respect that. He has intimate daily contact with the horse. That’s what Steve and Scott (Blasi) communicate to me. I look at the long term picture. I felt Rachel could have handled the Travers. We had already defeated Summer Bird and I felt Quality Road wasn’t quite ready for her yet. But taking on older horses was the next defining factor. Had we known we were going to face Zenyatta and a star quality field in Beldame, I might have made a different decision.”