Fans of Rachel Alexandra are invited to sign a 15-foot "Get Well Soon, Rachel" banner that will hang in the paddock area throughout the weekend at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
The 2009 Horse of the Year, winner of that year's Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), is recovering from abdominal surgery performed last week following complications from foaling. The Rachel Alexandra Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies will be run at Fair Grounds on Saturday, Feb. 23, as part of Louisiana Derby Preview Day Presented by Lamarque Ford.
Fair Grounds fans can sign the banner anytime during this week's live racing, Thursday to Sunday. First post on Thursday and Sunday is 1 p.m. First post for Friday's Starlight Racing program is 5 p.m. and first post for Saturday's 13-race card is 12:30 p.m. At the end of the weekend, the "Get Well Soon, Rachel" banner will be shipped to Barbara Banke, owner of Stonestreet Farm, which in partnership with Harold McCormick campaigned Rachel Alexandra from her Preakness (gr. I) win to her retirement.
Rachel Alexandra, who is a member of the Fair Grounds Hall of Fame, delivered a 140-pound filly Feb. 12, after which she underwent exploratory surgery to determine the cause of excess fluid in her abdominal cavity. A damaged section of her small colon was discovered and was surgically repaired and an infection was treated. She is recovering at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington.
Her newborn filly by Bernardini is healthy and is with a nurse mare at Stonestreet.