Oaks: Rachel Alexandra Readies For Final Work
(From Churchill Downs notes)
L and M Partner’s Rachel Alexandra, who figures to be the favorite for the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), galloped a mile and a half under exercise rider Rudy Gallegos shortly before 7 a.m. April 25 at Churchill Downs.
“I have been getting on her since last May and she just keeps getting better and better and stronger,” Gallegos said.
Trainer Hal Wiggins, along with his wife, Renee, and his mother, Joyce, watched the morning activity.
“I had a clocker at Oaklawn Park tell me he watches her every day and it is the same every day,” Wiggins said of the strong gallops put in by Rachel Alexandra.
Wiggins is expected to give Rachel Alexandra her final pre-Oaks work April 27 – a half-mile breeze with jockey Calvin Borel up. No paddock or gate schooling is planned for her.
“Her disposition is so good, she won’t do either,” Wiggins said.
In other Oaks news, Thomas Van Meter and Charles Kidder's Be Fair galloped on the track April 25, according to trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Lukas said the filly will work “possibly tomorrow” in her final major move leading up to Oaks 135.
Rafael Bejarano has the Oaks riding assignment on Be Fair, who was fourth in the grade I Ashland April 4 at Keeneland in her most recent start.
Marylou Whitney Stables' Tweeter also galloped for Lukas, who said she will work April 27 or 28 for a possible Oaks run.
Mike Rutherford’s Flying Spur galloped a mile and a quarter under Joanna Trout before the renovation break April 25. Trainer Bill Mott expressed satisfaction with the morning’s activity that occurred the same time Mott was on the track with Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contender Hold Me Back .
Garrett Gomez has the riding assignment on Flying Spur, who is expected to work April 27.
The winner of the Sunland Park Oaks, Gabby's Golden Gal, was out and doing some leg stretching in the early morning, building up steam toward her date in the Oaks. Exercise rider George Alvarez was at the controls and took the Medaglia d'Oro filly through a mile and a half gallop.
The Arnold Zetcher homebred is scheduled to have one more work prior to her date on the national stage. According to trainer Bob Baffert it would likely be April 26.
West Point Thoroughbreds’ Justwhistledixie walked the shedrow at Barn 42 a day after working a half-mile in :49.
“Everything looks good this morning,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. “She ate up good and probably will walk again in the morning.”
Julien Leparoux has the Oaks riding assignment on Justwhistledixie, who has won five consecutive races.
J. Paul Reddam's Nan walked the shedrow after putting in a five-furlong work the day before. Aimee Dollase, sister and assistant to trainer Craig Dollase, said “she came out of the work great and is looking great.”
Corey Nakatani has the Oaks riding assignment.
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