Sunday, June 28, 2009

'Rachel' Sets Stakes Record in Mother Goose

'Rachel' Sets Stakes Record in Mother Goose
Rachel Alexandra is all alone at the finish of the Mother Goose.

Rachel Alexandra faced only two opponents in the $300,000 Mother Goose (gr. I) (VIDEO) 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.

Owned by Jess Jackson’s Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick, Rachel Alexandra scored her seventh consecutive victory in the 1 1/8-mile Mother Goose, which went to post with only three starters after the scratches of Hopeful Image and Don’t Forget Gil earlier in the day. The daughter of Medaglia d'Oro —Lotta Kim, by Roar, captured her third straight grade I win while making her Belmont debut. She has now earned $1,798,354.
Breaking from post 3, Rachel Alexandra was content to sit three to four lengths off a suicidal pace set by Edward Evans’ Malibu Prayer, who posted fractions of :22.57, :44.66, and 1:08.86 under John Velazquez. Godophin Stable’s Flashing and Javier Castellano pressed the leader throughout, which was all the better for a stalking Rachel Alexandra.
Mother Goose Slide Show
AlyshebaRachel Alexandra's Mother Goose
It was nearing the three-eighths pole that Rachel Alexandra began to inch closer to her two rivals, and when they neared the quarter-pole Borel decided to split horses with his charged-up filly. She took over with ease coming off the turn and sprinted away from her overmatched opponents.
Borel peeked over his right shoulder a couple of times before gearing down on Rachel Alexandra midway through the stretch, but she still hit the wire 19 1/4-lengths ahead of Malibu Prayer. The final time on a track labeled "fast" was 1:46.33, breaking the mark of 1:46.58 set by Lakeway in 1994. She also shattered the record for margin of victory, which was previously held by the great Ruffian, who won by 13 1/2 lengths in 1975.
The race, which began in 1957, was run at 1 1/16 miles for the first two years. Since it changed to 1 1/8 miles in 1959, only Lakeway and Rachel Alexandra have run the Mother Goose in a time under 1:47.19. Only seven fillies have finished in a time better than 1:48.
The nine-furlong Belmont track record of 1:45.40 was set by Secretariat in the inaugural Marlboro Cup Sept. 15, 1973.