Related News

Home » Sports

Rachel Alexandra claims Preakness

CHAMPION filly Rachel Alexandra removed any doubt she could race with the colts by winning the Preakness Stakes in commanding fashion on Saturday.

Ridden by Calvin Borel for trainer Steve Asmussen, Rachel Alexandra held off a late charge by Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird to win the US$1.1 million middle jewel of US thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown series by a length.

"She's the greatest horse I have ever been on in my life," said Borel, who rode Mine That Bird to the Derby triumph two weeks ago. "Turning for home, I knew I was home free.

"She's got so much determination. When you look in that filly's eyes, it's unbelievable. You win."

Musket Man, third in the May 2 Derby at Churchill Downs, finished a half-length behind Mine That Bird in the show spot on Saturday with Eibar Coa in the irons.

Rachel Alexandra, breaking from the far outside 13 stall in the mile-and-three-sixteenths affair, raced four wide along the first turn and took the lead at the top of the backstretch.

She opened up a cozy four-length advantage racing for home under left-handed urging by Borel but labored to hold off hard-charging Mine That Bird in the final eighth of a mile.

Borel conceded the filly did not handle the dirt track at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore very well.

"The first quarter was good, then we picked it up," said Borel. "The more I asked of her the more she struggled. She'd never been hit before. I knew (Mine That Bird) was coming."

Male horses

As the favorite in the field of 13, Rachel Alexandra returned US$5.60, US$4.60 and US$3.60 to a US$2 stake. Mine That Bird returned US$6.60 and US$4.80, while Musket Man paid US$5.

The Kentucky-bred daughter of Medaglia d'Oro had won her previous five races by a total of 43 1/2 lengths and her new owners decided it was time to test her ability against male horses.

"She just wants to run," said Rachel Alexandra's co-owner Jess Jackson, who bought the filly last week and paid US$100,000 supplemental fee to enter her in the Preakness since she had not been nominated for the Triple Crown races.

"Gender doesn't matter. A thoroughbred wants to run and if a filly is as good as the colts, they ought to compete. That was my position and that's why we came."

Mine That Bird, a bay gelding who won the Derby two weeks ago as a 50-1 longshot, produced a late charge under Hall of Famer Mike Smith but it was not enough to overtake the filly. "Rachel Alexandra beat the greatest colts in the country today," said Smith. "You have to take your hat off to her."

Rachel Alexandra, who won the May 1 Kentucky Oaks by more than 20 lengths with Borel in the saddle, became the fifth filly to capture the Preakness and first since Nellie Morse in 1924. She now has eight wins in 11 career starts.

Her official winning time of 1:55.08 was off the Preakness record of 1:53.40 set in 1985 by Tank's Prospect and equalled by Louis Quatorze in 1996.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend