It has long been the tradition for starters in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) to saddle on the turf course at Pimlico Race Course, but more than half of this year's field -- including morning-line favorite Rachel Alexandra and Pioneerof the Nile -- will be saddled indoors, Maryland Jockey Club paddock judge Mario Verge said May 15.
With all the rain recently in Kentucky, and with a minor business matter requiring him to be out of town over the weekend, Calvin Borel had an important project to finish before leaving town. The morning of May 15 he was mowing his grass.
There was little new activity Thursday morning, although Pioneerof the Nile did have his first feel of the Pimlico track. Rachel Alexandra went unseen, walking the shed at around 4:30, but did show up for all to see in the afternoon, schooling in the paddock before the fourth race.
A field of 13 is set to line the gates at Pimlico Race Course May 16 for the 1 3/16-mile classic. It is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing Preakness Stakes in recent memory.
Rachel Alexandra, the impressive Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner and 8-5 morning-line favorite for the May 16 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), walked the shedrow at Pimlico Race Course the morning of May 14 and was expected to school in the paddock later in the day, according to assistant trainer Scott Blasi.
Insight into the pedigrees of this year's Preakness contenders is only a click away. This easy-to-read report includes pedigree analyses from Alan Porter, Avalyn Hunter, and Tom Hall. Order your copy today and separate the contenders from the pretenders.
Horse owner and breeder Jess Jackson said May 13 that entering super filly Rachel Alexandra against males in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) is not a battle of the sexes but rather a sporting gesture designed to have the best horses racing against each other.
Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra drew post 13 and was installed as the solid 8-5 morning-line favorite for the $1-million Preakness Stakes (gr. I) May 16 at Pimlico.
The exodus of Churchill Downs-based contenders for 134th running of the $1-million Preakness (gr. I) was completed May 13 when major contenders Rachel Alexandra and Pioneerof the Nile stepped onto separate vans around 12:30 p.m. EDT for the short trip to Louisville International Airport for their flight to Baltimore.
A few minutes after 9 a.m. EDT on May 12, Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine's Mine That Bird rolled out of the Churchill Downs barn area headed for Baltimore and the second leg of racing's Triple Crown.
John Hendrickson, husband and racing and breeding manager for Marylou Whitney, said neither he nor Marylou have ever spoken to Ahmed Zayat, and although they plan on running Luv Gov in the Preakness (gr. I) at the request of trainer D. Wayne Lukas, they would withdraw him if it meant excluding Rachel Alexandra.
After being besieged with unfavorable comments regarding his earlier decision to enter enough horses to prevent Rachel Alexandra from running in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), Ahmed Zayat, owner of Pioneerof the Nile, said on TVG that he has decided to reconsider and will not enter any other horses.
Possible Preakness (gr. I) candidate Rachel Alexandra, a record-smashing 20 1/4-length winner of the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), tuned up for a possible bid in the second leg of the Triple Crown with an easy four-furlong work on May 10 at Churchill Downs.
The prospective field for the May 16 Preakness (gr. I) received a boost in star power when assistant trainer Scott Blasi informed Maryland Jockey Club director of horsemen's relations Phoebe Hayes that Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra is scheduled to fly to Baltimore May 13 for the May 16 $1 million classic. A decision on whether she actually gets on the plane will not be made until the filly works.
Trainer Todd Pletcher said May 9 that Susan Magnier's Dunkirk, 11th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), is under consideration for the $1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on June 6.
Stonestreet Stables and partner Harold T. McCormick announced May 8 that Calvin Borel has agreed to ride Kentucky Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra for the current racing season.
A decision as to whether Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra will be supplemented into the field for the $1 million Preakness (gr. I) could be made May 10 or 11 after the filly works for her new trainer, Steve Asmussen.
Join Calvin Borel as he talks about his Derby winning ride aboard Mine That Bird, Rachel Alexandra's Kentucky Oaks, and more. Transcript also available.
Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stables and Harold T. McCormick have purchased spectacular Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra from Dolphus Morrison and Mike Lauffer.
The morning after it was announced that powerhouse filly Rachel Alexandra had been sold to Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stables and Harold T. McCormick, trainer Hal Wiggins went about his business as usual, in spite of the empty stall where the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner used to reside.
The best story of Kentucky Derby weekend was 7-year old Rachel Mattson and Kentucky Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra.
Belmont Park on June 6 is the next objective for Rachel Alexandra, the spectacular 20 1/4-length winner of the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), but not for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Instead, trainer Hal Wiggins has the $300,000 Acorn (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on his radar.
Those who believe Rachel Alexandra could have won the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) have evidence to back up their belief after she won the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) May 1 at Churchill Downs in spectacular fashion.
The song says the sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home, but there is no sun shining Kentucky Oaks morning, and the weather is the big topic of conversation.
In the opinion of her breeder and co-owner, Dolphus Morrison, Kentucky Oaks morning-line favorite Rachel Alexandra "could have been competitive" in the Run for the Roses, but he said he "didn't have a fleeting thought" of running her against the boys.
Terry Finley of West Point Thoroughbreds is looking forward to simply enjoying the ride in the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). And even though the pressure will be high on his filly Justwhistledixie, who will try to measure up against the heavy morning line favorite Rachel Alexandra, Finley is refusing to let himself get anxious about something he can't control.
Prior to the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) post position draw the morning of April 28, Mike Rutherford, owner/breeder of Flying Spur, and Michael Lauffer, co-owner of Rachel Alexandra, discussed the chances of their fillies in the 1 1/8-mile, $500,000 race May 1.
In the past 25 years the female stars of Thoroughbred racing have taken many different avenues to reach the stage of their greatest victory in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Though her work was a bit fast for his taste, trainer Hal Wiggins was more than satisfied when his filly Rachel Alexandra made it back to the barn in good shape after zipping through a half-mile in :46 2/5 at Churchill Downs the morning of April 27.
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.
L and M Partners' Rachel Alexandra continued to show her readiness for the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) by galloping a mile and a half under stout restraint from exercise rider Rudy Gallegos at Churchill Downs April 22.
Trainer Hal Wiggins was looking for an easy work April 16 at Churchill Downs for L & M Racing's Rachel Alexandra, the likely favorite for the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs May 1.
David Lanzman and IEAH Stables' I Want Revenge, the possible favorite for the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), turned in his first serious training move since his arrival at Churchill Downs when he worked an easy half-mile over a muddy track on April 14.
HRTV's weekly series analyzing the pursuit of the Triple Crown. This week's edition includes previews of the Arkansas Derby and Blues Grass Stakes, and recaps of the Wood Memorial, Santa Anita Derby, and Illinois Derby.
Rachel Alexandra, the probable $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) favorite who has dominated all three of her starts this season, will ship from Hot Springs, Ark. to Louisville, Ky. on April 8 to begin training at Churchill Downs, trainer Hal Wiggins said.
She keeps winning so easily, it's difficult to gauge just how good Rachel Alexandra is. Her four rivals in the $245,000 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park didn't provide any answers April 5.
Rachel Alexandra, expected to be among the favorites for next month's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), drew the rail against four opponents in the $250,000 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park April 5.
The powerhouse duo of champion Stardom Bound and Rachel Alexandra figured to be the top stories in the only pool of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Oaks Future Wager of 2009, but it was rising star Justwhistledixie who stole the show and ended up as the favorite over that duo as four days of Oaks Future betting drew to a close Sunday evening.
The streaking Justwhistledixie continued to be a surprising favorite over the high-powered duo of reigning 2-year-old filly champion Stardom Bound and Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) winner Rachel Alexandra as Churchill Downs' 2009 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager headed into the last day of its four-day run.
A sloppy track failed to slow Rachel Alexandra, who outclassed five rivals in the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) March 14.
Justwhistledixie, a romping winner in the Davona Dale (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park last time out, remained the surprising favorite over the high-powered duo of champion Stardom Bound and streaking Rachel Alexandra on Friday, March 13, as Churchill Downs' 2009 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager reached the midway point of its four-day run.
This week's episode includes a recap of the Gotham, previews of the Rebel, San Felipe, and Louisiana Derby, Rachel Alexandra, Nicanor, and an international report - Deposer.
Justwhistledixie, an easy winner of the Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, was a surprise favorite over morning line choices Stardom Bound and Rachel Alexandra following the March 12 opening day of betting in Churchill Downs' 2009 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager.
At the moment, trainer Hal Wiggins is resisting the temptation to seriously consider racing Rachel Alexandra against the boys. But, if the ultra-talented filly should put on another scintillating performance in the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) March 14, Higgins admits the plot would thicken.
Champion Stardom Bound, winner of five consecutive grade I stakes races, and rising star Rachel Alexandra, the heavy favorite for the March 14 $300,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) at Fair Grounds, are the narrowly separated top betting choices heading to this week's only pool of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Oaks Future Wager.
L and M Partners' Rachel Alexandra looms as the 4-5 morning line choice when facing five rivals in the 43rd running of the $400,000 grade II Fair Grounds Oaks for 3-year-old fillies March 14 at Fair Grounds.
A field of only four or five opponents is shaping up to face Golden Rod (gr. II) winner Rachel Alexandra in the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), which is scheduled for March 14 at Fair Grounds.
IEAH Stables, Paul Pompa Jr., Michael Dubb, and Golden Goose Enterprises' Stardom Bound, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2008 and winner of the Las Virgenes (gr. I) at Santa Anita in her 2009 debut, heads an impressive roster of 170 horses nominated to compete in the 135th running of the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), which will be run at Churchill Downs May 1.
Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, interviews Hal Wiggins, trainer of Rachel Alexandra. Will it be the Derby or the Oaks for this talented filly?
Although there was nothing over the weekend to knock your proverbial socks off, there were a few races that could steer you toward a horse or two as potential Derby material. With the Southwest Stakes having just been run, we'll briefly discuss the race and go over it in more detail next week.
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