The field for $300,000 Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) today was reduced to three with the scratches of Don't Forget Gil and Hopeful Image, leaving Preakness (gr. I) heroine Rachel Alexandra to face only Flashing and Malibu Prayer.
Belmont Park canceled its ninth and final race June 26 due to a severe storm that brought with it heavy rains, wind, lightning, thunder, and hail, and created unsafe conditions.
Preakness (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra galloped about a mile and a quarter on Belmont's fast main track early June 26, well in advance of a 9:30 a.m. EDT downpour.
Rachel Alexandra, who when last seen was making history by winning the May 16 BlackBerry Preakness (gr. I), will make her return to the racetrack in the $300,000 Mother Goose (gr. I) June 27 at Belmont Park. The Horse of the Year candidate will face only four rivals in the nine-furlong test for 3-year-old fillies.
Stonestreet Stables' Jess Jackson, majority owner of Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and BlackBerry Preakness (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra, said in a wide-ranging media teleconference June 24 that the superb filly would not race in this year's Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita but that there is a good possibility that she would return in 2010 for a 4-year-old campaign.
When Rachel Alexandra makes her Belmont Park debut in the 53rd renewal of the $300,000 Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) June 27, the New York Racing Association will give away pink bracelets embossed with the filly's name and admission for ladies will be free.
Rachel Alexandra will make her first start since her historic Preakness (gr. I) victory June 27 at Belmont Park, but her presence in the $300,000 Mother Goose (gr. I) isn't scaring everyone away.
Rachel Alexandra, who last month became the first filly in 85 years to win the Preakness (gr. I), will "race for a cure" for the remainder of her 2009 campaign. A $20,000 donation to a breast cancer nonprofit, the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure, from the Jackson Family Fund at the Blue Grass Community Foundation, will be the inaugural contribution.
Rachel Alexandra, winner of the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I), will make her next start in the 1 1/8 -mile Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park on June 27.
Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra was among the horses working at Churchill Downs on the morning of June 15 as horses trained under lights for the first time in the track's 135-year history.
BlackBerry Preakness Stakes and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra turned in solid six-furlong workout June 8 at Churchill Downs as the team behind the 3-year-daughter of Medaglia d'Oro considers her next start.
Medaglia d'Oro, the leading second-crop sire and one of the hottest sires in North America right now, has been purchased by Sheikh Mohammed's Darley operation and has been relocated to Darley's farm near Lexington, it was announced June 5.
After working Mine That Bird June 1 at Churchill Downs, jockey Calvin Borel "guaranteed" that the gelded son of Birdstone would win the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Believe it or not, Borel is now even more confident.
ESPN and ABC will offer seven hours of Belmont Stakes (gr. I) coverage starting at noon ET--including ABC's two-hour race broadcast June 6 at 5 p.m.--as jockey Calvin Borel attempts to complete an unprecedented personal Triple Crown.
An exuberant Calvin Borel expressed confidence that Mine That Bird will win the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) after working the diminutive gelding a half-mile in :50 on a warm, sunny June 1 morning at Churchill Downs.
With firm knowledge that the Preakness (gr. I)-winning filly Rachel Alexandra would pass on a possible run in the third jewel of the Triple Crown, trainer Bennie "Chip" Woolley Jr. and jockey Calvin Borel are both enthusiastically looking forward to the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and a bid to take two-thirds of the crown with Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner and Preakness runner-up Mine That Bird.
Rachel Alexandra will not be running in the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), Jess Jackson, the co-owner of the filly announced May 29.
While Mine That Bird galloped as usual, the morning of Friday, May 29, was decidedly not business as usual for Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and BlackBerry Preakness (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra at Churchill Downs.
Chip Woolley, the trainer of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird, said jockey Calvin Borel will ride his horse in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) if Rachel Alexandra isn't entered.
A review of the Preakness and the Triple Crown so far, including the jockey situation, and the return of Zenyatta. Plus, special guest Jack Wolf of Starlight Stable. Watch Video
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.
Preakness Stakes winner Rachel Alexandra worked a half-mile in :50 1/5 over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs early May 25. Co-owner Jess Jackson explained that the filly is doing well but that no decision has been made over whether she will contest the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
MAHUBAH'S CORNER, by Avalyn Hunter
Thanks to Mine That Bird and Rachel Alexandra, respectively, both Birdstone and Medaglia d'Oro have achieved the distinction of becoming Classic sires with their first crops. But how much of a boost will it really give them?
It was a day for racing royalty at Churchill Downs on May 20 as Blackberry Preakness (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra returned to track for a gallop, and Mine That Bird, winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and a fast-closing runner-up in the Preakness, continued to show his spirit during his first gallop since the race.
NBC's ratings for the May 16 BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I) rose substantially, scoring the highest numbers for the program's race portion in the past five years.
After two days off and a 9 1/2-hour van ride from Baltimore, Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird returned to the track at Churchill Downs for a light jog Tuesday, May 19. Meanwhile, Rachel Alexandra walked under Asmussen's shedrow on her second day back at Churchill.
Rachel Carson, author of "Silent Spring," wrote: "One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, 'What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again'?"
Wagering was up on several segments of the Preakness day card, according to data released May 18 by Maryland Jockey Club officials, fueled in part by the showdown between Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) victress Rachel Alexandra.
One day after combining to win the BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I), trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Calvin Borel were enthusiastic in their praise of the Rachel Alexandra.
There will be no Triple Crown winner in 2009, but there is a possibility of a showdown in the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) between the winners of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Blackberry Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Rachel Alexandra's star turn in the Blackberry Preakness Stakes (gr. I) drove TV ratings of the race to their highest overnight ratings in five years.
Calvin Borel made the right choice and history was made May 16 at Pimlico, when for the first time the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner not only ran in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) but won the race in convincing fashion. Rachel Alexandra finished first and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands winner Mine That Bird was second.
With slightly more than two hours until post for the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, the filly Rachel Alexandra is the 2-1 favorite. Four other horses are single-digit odds.
As of about 6:45 a.m. EDT, every horse was on the grounds at Pimlico Race Course for the May 16 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the middle jewel of the Triple Crown.
How much did the addition of the filly Rachel Alexandra mean to the dynamics of the May 16 Preakness Stakes (gr. I)? According to the patrons at Pimlico Race Course the day before the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, it meant everything.
If the payoffs for the daily double involving the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) and Preakness (gr. I) are any indication, the filly Rachel Alexandra will be the big favorite for the middle leg of the Triple Crown.
It has long been the tradition for starters in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) to saddle on the turf course at Pimlico Race Course, but more than half of this year's field -- including morning-line favorite Rachel Alexandra and Pioneerof the Nile -- will be saddled indoors, Maryland Jockey Club paddock judge Mario Verge said May 15.
With all the rain recently in Kentucky, and with a minor business matter requiring him to be out of town over the weekend, Calvin Borel had an important project to finish before leaving town. The morning of May 15 he was mowing his grass.
There was little new activity Thursday morning, although Pioneerof the Nile did have his first feel of the Pimlico track. Rachel Alexandra went unseen, walking the shed at around 4:30, but did show up for all to see in the afternoon, schooling in the paddock before the fourth race.
A field of 13 is set to line the gates at Pimlico Race Course May 16 for the 1 3/16-mile classic. It is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing Preakness Stakes in recent memory.
Rachel Alexandra, the impressive Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner and 8-5 morning-line favorite for the May 16 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), walked the shedrow at Pimlico Race Course the morning of May 14 and was expected to school in the paddock later in the day, according to assistant trainer Scott Blasi.
Insight into the pedigrees of this year's Preakness contenders is only a click away. This easy-to-read report includes pedigree analyses from Alan Porter, Avalyn Hunter, and Tom Hall. Order your copy today and separate the contenders from the pretenders.
Horse owner and breeder Jess Jackson said May 13 that entering super filly Rachel Alexandra against males in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) is not a battle of the sexes but rather a sporting gesture designed to have the best horses racing against each other.
Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra drew post 13 and was installed as the solid 8-5 morning-line favorite for the $1-million Preakness Stakes (gr. I) May 16 at Pimlico.
The exodus of Churchill Downs-based contenders for 134th running of the $1-million Preakness (gr. I) was completed May 13 when major contenders Rachel Alexandra and Pioneerof the Nile stepped onto separate vans around 12:30 p.m. EDT for the short trip to Louisville International Airport for their flight to Baltimore.
A few minutes after 9 a.m. EDT on May 12, Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine's Mine That Bird rolled out of the Churchill Downs barn area headed for Baltimore and the second leg of racing's Triple Crown.
John Hendrickson, husband and racing and breeding manager for Marylou Whitney, said neither he nor Marylou have ever spoken to Ahmed Zayat, and although they plan on running Luv Gov in the Preakness (gr. I) at the request of trainer D. Wayne Lukas, they would withdraw him if it meant excluding Rachel Alexandra.
After being besieged with unfavorable comments regarding his earlier decision to enter enough horses to prevent Rachel Alexandra from running in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), Ahmed Zayat, owner of Pioneerof the Nile, said on TVG that he has decided to reconsider and will not enter any other horses.
Possible Preakness (gr. I) candidate Rachel Alexandra, a record-smashing 20 1/4-length winner of the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), tuned up for a possible bid in the second leg of the Triple Crown with an easy four-furlong work on May 10 at Churchill Downs.
The prospective field for the May 16 Preakness (gr. I) received a boost in star power when assistant trainer Scott Blasi informed Maryland Jockey Club director of horsemen's relations Phoebe Hayes that Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra is scheduled to fly to Baltimore May 13 for the May 16 $1 million classic. A decision on whether she actually gets on the plane will not be made until the filly works.
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