And so the racing world waits anxiously for Jess Jackson to announce his decision regarding Rachel Alexandra’s Belmont Stakes status. Notice it says announce his decision, not waits for him to decide.
The person with the most to gain or lose obviously is Calvin Borel. He is fortunate that Mine That Bird’s trainer Chip Woolley is doing the right thing by waiting, in order to give Borel every opportunity to get back on the horse and to give himself every opportunity to obtain the services of the jockey who rode his gelding to a 6 3/4-length victory in the Kentucky Derby. So, that waiting game is beneficial to both trainer and rider.
But should this really be happening? Sometimes you can’t help but encounter choppy waters at times during the Triple Crown, but can anyone recall the amount of turbulence we’ve seen this year?
In this instance, you have a jockey who will either ride the Kentucky Derby winner, the Preakness winner, or nobody.
Mine That Bird’s trainer Chip Woolley, who was to have named a rider this past Monday, decided he would wait as well. And why not? Mike Smith, who rode Mine That Bird in the Preakness, is riding Madeo in the grade I Whittingham at
All this has brought up several questions. Is
What are Jackson and Asmussen hoping to learn in the next work that they don’t already know? Because
Jackson added, “We have to pull her back, because she wants to run.” Can they pull her back in one week? If so, how far do you really want to pull her back? If she wants to run through a brick wall and they don’t want her to, then just say, "We want to run in the Belmont as long as we can get her in the right frame of mind, and we'll have a better idea of that after her next work." There's nothing wrong with saying that. The key words are "want to." If they can't say those words by now, then they shouldn't run.
Here is a sampling of other quotes from
“She’s progressing…she’s recovering nicely…she’s right on course for being in top shape…there is a component of her legacy (there’s that word again we heard so often last year with Curlin)…she’s so special, you think of her as a great champion…we’re still considering the Belmont.”
On the other hand, “She’ll tell us when she’s ready, and it might not be as soon as you would want…we have to monitor her and make sure we preserve her because she’s so special… it’s not necessary for her to go in the Belmont… we have to be more conservative and cautious about her…you don't want to push her past her limits; that's the concern we have with the Belmont.”
Sounds like two different trains of thought. When it was inferred that his quotes seemed to indicate he was leaning against running,
And then there was
“I told him he could have her for the year if he stays with her, so we'd have to look at that opportunity as well. Calvin is in business. I think he’d be pleased to ride either one financially. I think his heart is with the filly, though, but I'm not sure.”
He’s not sure? Borel gave up the mount on a Kentucky Derby winner, who won by 6 3/4 lengths, to ride his filly. That’s about as sure as you can get.
If Jackson really has no idea what he’s going to do and is waiting for next Monday for some sign either way, that’s cutting it pretty close regarding travel plans, and leaves the NYRA marketing department up the proverbial creek without a paddle.
The bottom line is, no one outside
This is a lot simpler. Just forget all the opaque comments and tell us what you’re really thinking and what specifically is going to determine whether Rachel runs or not. You don’t owe anyone anything regarding the decision other than that. Just do what you and Asmussen feel is right for the filly. That’s all that is important.