Rachel Alexandra, the probable $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) favorite who has dominated all three of her starts this season, will ship from Hot Springs, Ark. to Louisville, Ky. on April 8 to begin training at Churchill Downs, trainer Hal Wiggins said.
Wiggins said the 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro came out of the April 4 Fantasy (gr. II) in great shape and had a “nice bounce in her step” the day after romping by 8 3/4 lengths at Oaklawn Park. Wiggins also confirmed once and for all that the sensational filly will be pointed towards the Oaks and not the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
“We’re going to the Oaks. The owners made up their minds even before (the Fantasy),” Wiggins said.
Rachel Alexandra has won her three starts this year by a combined 18 1/2 lengths. Overall, the bay is 6-2-0 from nine lifetime starts and has earned $621,440. Aside from her obvious talent, she has the added edge of having five starts over the Churchill dirt, three of them victories. All of the starts in Louisville came as a juvenile, as she broke her maiden, won an allowance event, and scored in the Golden Rod (gr. II) over the strip.
Rachel Alexandra is owned by Michael Lauffer and Dolphus Morrison’s L and M Partners. Morrison also bred the filly, who is out of the Roar mare Lotta Kim.
“We’re looking forward to an exciting month,” said Wiggins. “We’re very confident, although we’ll be facing some very nice fillies. I don’t know how much she can improve, but Calvin (Borel) doesn’t think she’s even been asked yet.
“We’re trying to stay calm because the whole thing can be emotionally overwhelming if you let it. I’ve had some decent horses in my career but never one who’s near the top of her class. It’s a good feeling, especially to be going there with someone (Morrison) who I’ve trained for for 30 years. It’s very rewarding to be able to share this with a loyal friend.”
Wiggins was born in Port Arthur, Texas but has been a Louisville resident for 16 years.