Monday, September 7, 2009

Rachel Alexandra, the Great


Loading videos...

Rachel Alexandra, the Great
Yesterday, in what is likely to be the final bow of her three year-old campaign. Out of this world filly Rachel Alexandra took on older horses for the first time in her already stellar career. The results were stunning.
Not only did Rachel due away with an impressive field of older horses {Beating older horses is only really a factor in a horses three year old campaign, partly because two & three year-old horses spend the first two years of their racing careers competing against horse their own age.} that included (just to name a few) 08' Belmont Stakes winner D' Tara, 07' UAE Derby winner Asiatic Boy and $1,625,247 career earnings winner Macho Again but she may have shut this reporter up for good.
I've made no secret about my feeling regarding Rachel Alexandra. I simply don't believe she's as good as peopled have you believe. A quote this week from trainer Marty Wolfson pretty much summed up my feeling toward the reigning queen of the three year-old division.  
"I don't want to say she's great yet, I grew up around Affirmed and Alydar, horses like that. Those are great horses. I cannot tag her great yet. She's a top filly. I've seen a lot of top fillies, too. My stepmother had Affectionately and Priceless Gem and horses like that. They were top fillies, but they weren't great horses. I think she's a top filly"
Rachel beat Wolfson's charge It's a bird on Saturday afternoon at Saratoga to claim the fifty-fifth running of the Woodward Stakes. Rachel Alexandra was pressed on the lead from the outset of the 9 furlong race by D' Tara who never let Rachel relax on the lead. As Rachel made her way into the home stretch, her rivals on the front end gave way to a charge from the back of the pack. Asiatic Boy was strong but in the end it was Macho Again who came from the back of the pack to challenge Rachel.
Rachel's rider Calvin "Bo-Rail" knew he he had company headed home and asked his filly for a little more with a little left-handed encouragement. Rachel just kept on truckin and Macho Again continued to close the gap on her. Rachel did not appear to be slowing down, just unable to keep pace with Macho Again who was in full flight right in front of the Sartoga grandstand.
Robby Albarado aboard Macho Again had finally done it. He'd pinned down the super filly and was about to wipe the floor with her when Calvin Borel stepped in. Borel adjusted his encouragement from left to right and Rachel responded with another gear costing to the finish-line neck in neck with Macho Again who just couldn't get by owner Jess Jackson's pride and joy Rachel Alexandra, the great.
Rachel's Future
Rachel Alexandra defied fifty-four year of history becoming the first filly to win the Woodward Stakes. It's unclear what's next for the potential horse of the year candidate, however Jess Jackson has already made a couple of things clear.
First, he, Jess Jackson fully intends to run Rachel next year during her four year-old campaign.
Second, he, Jess Jackson does not believe in running horses over the synthetic poly-track at Santa Anita where this years Breeders' Cup will be held. This is unfortunate because the one obstacle I see in viewing Rachel as one of the greatest horses of all time is that she has not proven that she can win on  multiple surfaces.
Rachel Alexandra, better then great?
Sure some of the greatest dirt horses ever could not match their dominance on the grass and vice versus, turfers aren't always apt to run well on dirt. Synthetic surfaces have already been installed at major tracks across North-America. Synthetic surface are very new and were very costly to install, so their not going anywhere anytime soon. If Jess Jackson or Humbum Joe Gambler wants me to believe that Rachel is one of the greatest horses of all time she is going to have to win one on the Poly-Track. More specifically I want to see Rachel beat probable 09' Breeders' Cup Classic starter and fellow filly Zenyatta on a synthetic surface.
A bet for my NowPublic readers!!!
I'm so confident that Zenyatta can catch Rachel on the Poly-Track that I'll eat my own hat if it happens (I'll also make a video of this exercise {eating my hat} to be posted with a future article entitled Rachel Alexandra, the Greatest... ...Pass the salt)     
Zoltan Black    

Tags: | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

No comments: