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Alexander Barkoff

Rachel Alexandra Fires Bullet at Churchill

Rachel Alexandra worked a bullet six furlongs in 1:12 April 12.

Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra worked a strong six furlongs April 12 in her second major training move since her return to her home base at Churchill Downs.

Rachel Alexandra covered the distance over a fast track in 1:12 for trainer Steve Asmussen under regular exercise rider Dominic Terry. The 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro Lotta Kim, by Roar, worked in fractional times of :12.80, :25.40, :37.20, :48.40, and 1:00.20. She galloped out seven furlongs in 1:25.20.

The move was the fastest of seven at the distance over the track. Two other Asmussen trained runners, Eclipse nominee Hot Dixie Chick and 2009 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) favorite Fresian Fire, covered six furlongs in 1:13.40 and 1:12.80, respectively.

“I was very pleased with her work,” said Asmussen. “She looks happy and she cooled out great. It was a very strong move.”

Rachel Alexandra, winner of five grade I races in 2009, last week worked five furlongs in 1:00.20, galloping out six furlongs in 1:14. Her six furlong work April 12 was stronger throughout, and Asmussen said his team would be looking at how she recovers in determining her next race.

“I’m very anxious to see her attitude off of the work,” said Asmussen. “How she acts, how she rests in her stall, and if she’s comfortable with everything we’re doing. From a work standpoint it was very impressive and fast, which she is.”

Asmussen said there is still no decision on Rachel Alexandra’s next race. She has raced just once since winning the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) over older males at Saratoga last fall, the result being a surprising second to Zardana March 13 in the $200,000 New Orleans Ladies Stakes at Fair Grounds. The defeat resulted in the scrapping of plans for a match between Rachel Alexandra and the undefeated Zenyatta in Oaklawn Park’s Apple Blossom (gr. I), a race which Zenyatta won with ease April 9.

“We’re trying to get her back in the rhythm that she had success with last year, because we were very unsuccessful in trying to alter that,” said Asmusen. 

Rachel Alexandra races for Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick.