Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Summer Bird put in his final work for the $1.25 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I), breezing five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 July 26 with jockey Kent Desormeaux aboard.
Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin Stable, the new owner of Atomic Rain, has officially decided to take on Preakness Stakes (gr. I)-winning filly Rachel Alexandra and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Summer Bird in the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park Aug. 2.
Monmouth Park announced the purse for the 42nd running of Haskell Invitational (gr. I) on Aug. 2 has been boosed by $250,000 to now total $1,250,000.
Jerry Moss, owner of undefeated champion Zenyatta, said July 22 that he has not made a decision on the mare's next destination after her try in the Aug. 9 Clement Hirsch Stakes (gr. I), but he reiterated that he still wants to do "something different" with the rest of her 2009 campaign.
Edward Evans' homebred Quality Road worked five furlongs in 1:01.41 July 17 at Belmont Park and is on track to make his first start in more than four months in the $150,000 Amsterdam (gr. II) at Saratoga on Aug. 3.
The winner of the BlackBerry Preakness (gr. I) is in top condition and ready for the $1 million, grade I stakes Aug. 2 at Monmouth Park, which could include Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Summer Bird.
Payton d'Oro and Bon Jovi Girl, who took turns beating each other in their last two starts, will do battle once again in the $250,000 Delaware Oaks (gr. II) July 18 at Delaware Park, where they will meet a solid group of 3-year-old fillies.
BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra worked five furlongs in 1:01.38 over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Racecourse July 13.
California vintner Jess Jackson has privately acquired the Medaglia d'Oro filly Dashing Debby, who won her career debut, the July 11 J J'sdream Stakes at Calder Race Course, in commanding fashion by 10 1/4 lengths.
- By Steve Haskin
Not to be a killjoy, but the fact is some of the best horses in the country will not be showing up at the Breeders' Cup this year.
Jockey Calvin Borel, who rode the winners of this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and the BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I), will be a member of the Saratoga Preview panel on Monday, July 27 at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
BlackBerry Preakness (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra breezed July 6 over the Oklahoma Training Track at Saratoga Race Course in her first workout since her record-setting victory in the Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) eight days ago.
Kendall-Jackson Winery announced July 2 a five-month-long charity auction that will take place on its Web site featuring items, donated by winery owner and co-founder Jess Jackson, that are related to Rachel Alexandra's racing season.
Jerry Moss, owner of champion mare Zenyatta, said he hopes to meet Rachel Alexandra in the Breeders' Cup, but likely wouldn't ship Zenyatta east to tangle with 'Rachel' this summer.
Scarcely 12 hours after her record-setting victory in the Mother Goose (gr. I) June 27 at Belmont Park, Rachel Alexandra stepped onto a van that carried her up the Northway to Saratoga Race Course, which will be the base for her summer campaign.
Rachel Alexandra faced only two opponents in the $300,000 Mother Goose (gr. I) June 27 at Belmont Park but the sensational filly put on a dazzling display anyway, setting a stakes record while romping by nearly 20 lengths under Calvin Borel.
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.
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