Barbara Banke, owner of Stonestreet Farm, will announce the name of 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra’s first foal at Saratoga Race Course in New York July 27. Born Jan. 22, the colt is by 2007 and 2008 Horse of the Year Curlin .
The name, which was submitted by Rachel Alexandra and Curlin’s fans earlier this year, will be revealed by Banke in a special ceremony following the running of the $100,000 Curlin Stakes (with an approximate post of 6:22 p.m. EDT).
Stonestreet offered fans a chance to select the name of the bay colt on Valentine’s Day and more than 6,500 official entries were considered. The name ultimately chosen was the most popular suggestion, and Banke, with assistance from Rachel Alexandra, drew the winning entry July 23. The drawing's winner will have the opportunity to spend a night at Stonestreet Farm near Lexington and enjoy a special visit with Rachel Alexandra and her Kentucky-bred weanling.
“Even in retirement the love and affection shown to Curlin and Rachel Alexandra continues to amaze us. We feel the name the fans selected carries on the legacy of these two amazing athletes,” Banke said. “We picked Saratoga to make our announcement because of the deeply ingrained histories of both parents and NYRA’s (New York Racing Association’s) wonderful fans.”
The event has been dubbed “A Toast to Taco’s Official Name." The colt’s nickname is Taco. Stonestreet representatives will attend the races July 27 at Saratoga and distribute special vouchers to fans during the afternoon. They will be able to redeem the vouchers for a glass of Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay or lemonade at select locations around the track. Chances to secure one of these vouchers will be announced on Twitter by Stonestreet (@StonestreetFarm).
NYRA will hold a Facebook promotion offering fans a chance to win photos of Curlin and Rachel Alexandra (like NYRA on Facebook for details about how to enter) and the July 27 text trivia question will be Curlin- and Rachel Alexandra-themed.
Rachel Alexandra became the first female to win the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) when she thrilled thousands with an electrifying performance at Saratoga in 2009. During the same campaign, she also became the first filly in 85 years to win the Preakness (gr. I).
Curlin, now standing at Will Farish’s Lane’s End Farm near Versailles, Ky., secured back-to-back Horse of the Year titles by winning the 2007 Preakness and Breeder’s Cup Classic (gr. I) as well as the 2008 Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (UAE-I). Curlin also won the 2008 Woodward and was the winner of the Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (gr. I) at Belmont Park in 2007 and 2008.