Fantasy Foes at Rachel Alexandra's Mercy

Fantasy Foes at Rachel Alexandra's Mercy
Photo: Shawn Coady/Coady Photography
Jockey Calvin Borel looks back for the competition as Rachel Alexandra scores easily in the Fantasy Stakes.

She keeps winning so easily, it's difficult to gauge just how good Rachel Alexandra is. Her four rivals in the $245,000 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) (VIDEO) at Oaklawn Park didn't provide any answers April 5.

Jockey Calvin Borel never cocked his whip on the likely Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) favorite in winning the 1 1/16-mile test on the front end, but he'll probably have a crick in his neck from looking over his shoulder in search of any possible threats. There were none as the 1-10 choice Rachel Alexandra scored a near walkover by 8 3/4 lengths for her fourth consecutive win since capturing the Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs Nov. 29. The final time was 1:43.35 on a fast track.

The one thing missing on Rachel Alexandra's past performances is a grade I win and she should have an excellent shot at taking care of that in the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) May 1. That is unless trainer Hal Wiggins and owners Mike Lauffer and Dolphus Morrison (L and M Partners) give in to temptation and take a crack at the boys in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) a day later.

Rachel Alexandra is scheduled to ship to Churchill Downs later this week.

The daughter of Medaglia d'Oro  , who was bred by Morrison from the Roar mare Lotta Kim, has now won her last four stakes by more than 23 lengths. She captured her previous start, the March 14 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), by 1 3/4 lengths while being eased up by Borel.

Breaking from the rail in the Fantasy, Rachel Alexandra veered in at the start but quickly correctly and took command. The bay filly opened a 1 1/2-length lead over Afleet Deceit after a quarter mile in :23.45, a half in :47.42, and six furlongs in 1:12.57.

Rachel Alexandra began to draw away on the final turn without being asked and Borel started swiveling his head, looking over his left shoulder a couple of times and to his right as he led at the top of the lane by about three. The advantage was five lengths at the eighth pole and it only increased from there as Borel, confident that he was all alone, sat absolutely chilly.

Afleet Deceit, ridden by Chris Emigh, held second by three lengths over Honeybee (gr. III) winner Just Jenda, with Gabriel Saez aboard. Bon Jovi Girl finished fourth with Cats far behind.

Rachel Alexandra picked up a $150,000 check for her connections, increasing her career earnings to $621,440. She has won six of nine starts with two seconds. Her only bad effort was when she finished sixth in her maiden debut at Churchill last May 22.

Rachel Alexandra carried co-high weight of 121 pounds in the Fantasy and paid $2.20 and $2.20. Afleet Deceit returned $4, completing a $2 exacta worth $8.20. There was no show wagering.
 

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