BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra worked five furlongs in 1:01.38 over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Racecourse July 13. The bullet work, with exercise rider Dominic Terry aboard, was the fastest of the day among 12 working that distance on the training track.
“She’s tremendous; she’s a beautiful animal; she’s doing great,” said trainer Steve Asmussen. “She was unbelievably light on her feet today and she felt great about doing it. It was about as easy as she could do it. It was exactly what I was hoping to see.”
She took the first three fractions in :12 3/5, :25 and :37 1/5 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:14 4/5. This was the first time that Asmussen has been at his Saratoga stable since Rachel Alexandra arrived there on June 28.
Immediately after the work, Asmussen said no decision had been made on when the filly will make her next start, although tthe grade II, $1 million Delaware Handicap for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up going 1 1/4 miles at Delaware Park Sunday, July 19, is under consideration.
“I think (a decision) to eliminate the Delaware Handicap will have to be made today or tomorrow from a timing standpoint,” Asmussen said. “They are drawing the entries tomorrow (for the race). It’s a timing thing more than anything. Her being a three-year-old filly that has success outside of her division just gives (us) that many more options. I think the only thing that we can state is the obvious – that’s her and she looks good.”
Jess Jackson, principal of Stonestreet Stables, and co-owner Harold T. McCormick and trainer Asmussen may also be considering the grade I, $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks for 3-year-old fillies running 1 1/4 miles on July 25 at Belmont Park and the grade I, $1 million, nine-furlong Haskell Invitational for 3-year-olds on Aug. 2 at Monmouth Park.
The daughter of Medaglia d'Oro was shipped to Saratoga after winning the Mother Goose by a stakes-record margin of 19¼ lengths. The previous record for the Mother Goose (13½ lengths) was set by Ruffian in 1975. The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro also ran a stakes-record time of 1:46.33 for 1 1/8 miles, surpassing Lakeway’s 1994 record of 1:46.58. Previous to the Preakness, she won the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) when trained by Hal Wiggins.