Monday, June 22, 2009

Rachel Alexandra breezes for Mother Goose


BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Rachel Alexandra worked a half mile in :49.80 on Monday at Churchill Downs in preparation for her scheduled return to racing in Saturday’s $300,000 Mother Goose Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park.

Exercise rider Dominic Terry rode Rachel Alexandra over the fast main track in fractional times of :13, :25, and :37.40. Her half-mile work ranked as the 17th fastest of 51 at the distance and the Steve Asmussen-trained filly galloped out five furlongs in 1:03.40.

“The filly went beautiful this morning,” Asmussen said. “She looked very happy. [assistant trainer Scott Blasi] and Dominic have done a great job keeping her happy.”

Rachel Alexandra will face three-year-old fillies in the 1 1/8-mile Mother Goose (G1), her first race since her win over Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner Mine That Bird and 11 other males in the Preakness on May 16 at Pimlico Race Course (video).

Rachel Alexandra, who will ship to New York on Tuesday, figures to be an overwhelming favorite in the Mother Goose against a field that could also include graded stakes winners Flashing and Don’t Forget Gil. Justwhistledixie was withdrawn from consideration on Monday and her connections will point the Dixie Union filly toward the Test Stakes (G1) on August 8 at Saratoga Race Course.

“That’s why they’re Grade 1s,” Asmussen said. “We’re not looking to trade her with anyone.”

Rachel Alexandra’s Preakness victory lifted her career record to eight wins in 11 starts with earnings of $1,618,354.