I have now had a full day to reflect on what we saw on Sunday in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational. Rachel Alexandra once again dominated the boys and won a Grade 1 race by a very significant margin. It would appear that her future plans definitely include the "Summertime Derby", the Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga, and do NOT include the Breeders' Cup, to be run on a synthetic surface at Santa Anita this fall.
Owner Jess Jackson reaffirmed his position that the horse will not run on the synthetics ever and, you know what, I applaud him for sticking to his guns. The Mosses can say all they want that they want to run against Rachel with Zenyatta, so if they do, GO GET HER!!! After all, the Howards took Seabiscuit all over the place trying to run against War Admiral and when they did, they beat him decisively. Don't say we want to run, but only on our terms. Right now, Rachel is holding all the cards in the poker game of greatness. I think that Zenyatta's connections have to go "all in" and go run against her on the East Coast on a real track surface.
As for that poker game of greatness, I think Rachel is approaching Doyle Brunson-like status. I cannot believe I am going to say this, but she just might be the greatest horse we have seen since Secretariat. I have been watching the sport, both casually and professionally, since the 1970s and I really think she is going to have an argument for that statement when she is finished. I do hope that if the connections don't go on to the Breeders' Cup, then they bring her back at four and run her one more season and complete what promises to be a legendary career in the 2010 Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs.
Tune in tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!
Photo courtesy of espn.com