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."