The Race of the Year for Horse of the Year
Rachel Alexandra made her 3-year old debut in the Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn on February 15, winning by 8 lengths and establishing a new stakes record.
Photo: Coady Photography
The Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) was run on a sloppy track on March 14, but Rachel Alexandra was in control from the beginning and geared down late.
Photo: SKIP DICKSTEIN
Rachel Alexandra returned to Oaklawn for her next start on April 5, winning the Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) by 8 plus lengths under a hand ride.
Zenyatta was scheduled to make her seasonal debut in the Louisville Distaff (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on May 1, but was scratched on account of rain.
Photo: Mathea Kelley
That same day at Churchill Downs, Rachel Alexandra romped in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I),
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
leaving the rest some 20 lengths behind.
Photo: Mike Corrado
After the Kentucky Oaks, Rachel Alexandra was purchased by Jess Jackson.
And 2 weeks later, she took on the boys in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico, defeating Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, and 11 others.
Zenyatta made her much-anticipated 5-year-old debut on May 23 in the Milady (gr. II) at Hollywood Park. She didn't disappoint, cruising over stablemate Life Is Sweet for her 10th straight win.
Ann and Jerry Moss purchased Zenyatta at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2005, for a bargain price of $60,000.
Both Horse of the Year candidates were in action on June 27. Rachel Alexandra faced just 2 in the Mother Goose (gr. I), setting a new stakes record, and winning by close to 20 lengths.
Photo: Adam Coglianese
Around 15 minutes later, Zenyatta took the Vanity (gr. I) at Hollywood, carrying 129 pounds.
After the Vanity, jockey Mike Smith gave thanks.
Rachel Alexandra was back in against the boys on August 2, taking the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) on a sloppy track at Monmouth.
Photo: Jessica Denver/EQUI-PHOTO
Zenyatta won a squeaker in the Clement L. Hirsch (gr. I) at Del Mar on August 9, just getting up over Anabaa's Creation.
In Rachel Alexandra's final race of the year, she won the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) on September 5 at Saratoga, defeating older males.
Next up for Zenyatta was the Lady's Secret (gr. I) at Oak Tree at Santa Anita on October 10, which she won by a comfortable margin.
Zenyatta saved the best for last, becoming the first female to win the Breeders' Cup Classic. It was also win number 14 in her perfect career.
Zenyatta brought a lot of smiles to the face of trainer John Shirreffs.
Trainer Steve Asmussen shares a quiet moment with his filly Rachel Alexandra.
Photo: Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Zenyatta was known for her dance moves.
But, Rachel Alexandra had a few of her own.
Cover Girls: Rachel Alexandra after the Woodward.
Zenyatta after her Breeders' Cup Classic Triumph.
Two Great Choices for Horse of the Year: Rachel Alexandra 2009: 8 starts, 8 wins, 5 grade I wins, earned $2,746,924
Zenyatta 2009: 5 starts, 5 wins, 4 grade I wins, earned $3,300,000
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