Amidst a light rain at Churchill Downs, reigning Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra breezed four furlongs in :50 over a muddy track April 26.
Rachel Alexandra, owned by Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick and trained by Steve Asmussen, stepped onto the racetrack under regular rider Dominic Terry at a little after 6 a.m., and was accompanied by assistant trainer Scott Blasi and pony horse Dakota. The pair backtracked about a quarter-mile to the finish line, while Rachel Alexandra was keen to run.
“I thought Dominic did an excellent job with her,” Asmussen said. “Turning around she was obviously feeling really good and he got her to settle down loping down the backside. She broke into it smooth and she was very fluid, straight to the wire. I can’t tell you how excited we are about the prospects of Friday.”
The move was Rachel Alexandra’s final timed work in advance of the April 30 La Troienne Stakes (gr. II), a 1 1/16-mile event for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) undercard. Rachel Alexandra will be making her second start of the year and will be seeking the first win of her 4-year-old campaign after being upset by Zardana in the March 13 New Orleans Ladies Stakes. Zardana is also expected for the La Troienne.
Breaking off at the half-mile pole and working to the finish line, Rachel Alexandra registered fractions of :13 1/5, :25 3/5, and :37 4/5. Churchill Downs clockers caught her galloping out five furlongs in 1:03 2/5.
“She’s a very athletic filly,” Asmussen said of the daughter of Medaglia d'Oro . “She looks beautiful moving. We’re just excited to see where we’re at Friday.”
The La Troienne lost one of its expected starters Sunday when grade I winner Careless Jewel was removed from consideration by trainer Josie Carroll because of injury. Probables as of Monday, according to the Churchill Downs racing office, are Be Fair, Distinctive Dixie, Morena, Rachel Alexandra, Unrivalled Belle, and Zardana. Entries for the La Troienne will be drawn Tuesday.