(Edited Monmouth Park release)
BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra had her final workout July 27 at Saratoga as she continues to prepare for her next start in the $1.25 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park on Sunday, Aug. 2.
Over the training track at Saratoga, Rachel put in a four furlong breeze of :49.26, sixth fastest of 23 works this morning. She is scheduled to ship down from Saratoga to Monmouth Park on Friday morning and school that afternoon with the horses for the sixth race. After becoming the first filly in 85 years to win the Preakness Stakes, Rachel is looking to be just the second filly to win the Haskell, following Hall of Famer Serena’s Song, who won the mile and an eighth contest in 1995.
A daughter of Medaglia d'Oro from the Roar mare Lotta Kim, Rachel Alexandra has won her last seven starts. In addition to taking the Preakness two races back, she was a dominating winner of her last start in the grade I Mother Goose (19 1/4 lengths) on June 27.
One of Rachel Alexandra’s Haskell challengers also put in final final work July 27 as Papa Clem headed to the Monmouth Park track and breezed in 1:14.60 for six furlongs.
The Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner was most recently third in Monmouth’s Long Branch Stakes on July 18. He is scheduled to have Elvis Trujillo, currently the leading rider at Monmouth, in the irons for the Haskell.
In other Haskell news, Duke of Mischief arrived on the Monmouth Park backstretch at 8:00 a.m. this morning after a 24-hour van ride from Calder.
"He walked and got a bath," said trainer David Fawkes. "That’s it. He’ll go to the track tomorrow. He shipped great and everything is set with him."
Duke of Mischief, who captured the Iowa Derby last out, will have two-time Monmouth riding champion Eibar Coa back aboard in the Haskell.
In addition to Rachel Alexandra, Papa Clem and Duke of Mischief, the Haskell field is expected to draw Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Summer Bird, who has been stabled at Monmouth since July 3. Others pointing for the race are multiple graded stakes winner Munnings, Long Branch victor Atomic Rain and multiple stakes winner Bunker Hill.