Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra will be entered in the Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs June 12, ending weeks of speculation as to where the 4-year-old filly will make her next start.
Majority owner Jess Jackson issued a brief press release June 9, hours before entries were to be taken for the Fleur de Lis and Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), which are both run on the same day at 1 1/8 miles. She was nominated for both races, as well as the Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park and Obeah Stakes (gr. III) at Delaware Park on Saturday.
The $200,000 Fleur de Lis is for fillies and mares and is expected to be a short field. The $600,000 Stephen Foster is expected to have a strong field of older males that will include Blame , Battle Plan, and last year’s winner Macho Again.
“As long as she continues to progress, we intend to race her with the expectation that she will obtain her fitness level of last year. Our ultimate goal and hope is to enter the Breeders’ Cup in November,” Jackson’s statement said.
The statement did not make mention of who will ride Rachel Alexandra in the Fleur de Lis.
Rachel Alexandra, who has lost both of her starts this season after winning all eight a year ago, will carry top weight of 124 pounds in the Fleur de Lis.