Rachel Alexandra

Rachel Alexandra

Skip Dickstein

Rachel Alexandra in Strong Saratoga Workout

Reigning Horse of the Year working toward Personal Ensign Aug. 29.

Reigning Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra turned in a strong six-furlong workout in 1:13 1/5 at Saratoga Race Course early Aug. 16 as the 4-year-old filly continued preparations for the grade I Personal Ensign Stakes Aug. 29.

With jockey Shaun Bridgmohan aboard when she went to the track shortly after 6 a.m. (EDT), Rachel Alexandra went about her business for the workout and then galloped out seven furlongs in 1:25 4/5 and a mile in 1:39.

"I thought she did really well," trainer Steve Asmussen said in a statement. "Shaun did a great job with her away from the pole. She settled in nicely. It was a nice, solid, strong work, with a very big gallop-out, ideal for the mile-and-a-quarter that she is pointed toward.

"She was off (the first eighth) in :13, then she came off the bridle for him, very relaxed, her ears forward, stuck in a bunch of :12 and changes, came home just a tad better the last quarter, and her gallop out was strong. That rhythm, because of the 1 1/4 miles, is what we were looking for. That’s where she is…I feel she is more relaxed in the middle of her works than she was last year."

Barbara Banke, wife of co-owner Jess Jackson, was on hand for the workout and was pleased with what she saw.

"It was tremendous," Banke said in a statement. "I loved watching her and loved watching the gallop-out. That was really fun. I think she’ll be ready."

The filly’s first two works for the Personal Ensign were over the Oklahoma training track, but Asmussen went with a main track work this time due in part to the success she had following a similar schedule for last year’s Woodward Stakes (gr. I).

Last year before the Woodward, it was weather-related," he said, adding that Rachel will have one more work Aug. 23 before the Personal Ensign, her first start at 1 1/4 miles. "(But with the) success of that (Woodward) (we) tried to follow the same pattern in some sense."

Link to video of Rachel Alexandra’s workout at Saratoga Race Course

Link to video of trainer Steve Asmussen and Barbara Banke discussing Rachel Alexandra