The training halter worn by Rachel Alexandra prior to her historic victory in the BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I) was purchased by an Ohio man for $2,859.99 in an online auction that will benefit the V Foundation for Cancer Research.
The winning bid came from Rick Weekley of Mason, Ohio.
The five-month long auction features items, donated by winery owner and co-founder Jess Jackson and his wife Barbara Banke, that are related to Rachel Alexandra's racing season. A new item and new auction will be introduced every month through November. On July 29, the blue-and-white, # 3 Saddle Towel worn by Rachel during her 19-length victory in the Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) was placed up for auction at the Kendall-Jackson Web site http://www.kj.com as the second item in the series.
Each item, of progressively escalating value, will have a "blind reserve" bid amount--that amount is guaranteed by Jackson and Banke to be the least amount donated to the charity--even if bidding is below that amount and the item is not sold. All funds raised will go to the V Foundation.
The final, "Grand Item," will be auctioned in November. The cumulative total of all auction proceeds will be presented to the V Foundation after Rachel Alexandra’s last race of the season, or no later than Nov. 30, 2009.
Every month, the winning bidders will be posted and announced to the press (unless they decline to be identified). Though 100% of each auction purchase will go The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a nonprofit qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, purchases of auction items are not tax-deductible.
"We are heartened to see how people value both Rachel’s collectible items and the opportunity to help in the fight against cancer," said Jackson. "Hopefully, every item will raise more money to fund this battle."