Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rachel's Run

2009 Horse Of The Year, Rachel Alexandra, is clearly not going to be a candidate for a repeat of that honor in 2010. She has already lost a couple of times and when she has won, she really has not been super impressive. For that matter, the company she has beaten also has not been super impressive. Given those points, plus the fact that Zenyatta keeps on winning (although her competition hasn't been stellar either), Blame is undefeated, and Quality Road has been eye-catching in his wins and was mystifying in his loss this weekend to Blame, I think it is safe to say that Rachel has far too much to overcome to be Horse Of The Year in 2010.

OK, so she won't be Horse Of The Year, that doesn't mean we can't cheer her on when she does take to the track. Her next scheduled appearance will come in the Grade 1 $300,000 Personal Ensign Stakes on August 29. She posted another workout on Monday morning over the Oklahoma Training Track at Saratoga, covering six furlongs in 1:12.95. Her trainer, Steve Asmussen, seemed pleased with the performance and the handling of rider Shaun Bridgmohan. Rachel Alexandra will have two more workouts before the Personal Ensign on the next two Mondays, August 16 and 23.

By the way, while we are here, who do I think is the Horse Of The Year in 2010? I think it is unquestionably Zenyatta. I know I bashed her competition earlier, but all she does is win, win, win. That is the point of the game after all. I am interested to see whether or not she goes in the Ladies' Classic at Churchill Downs or the classic Classic. Everyone seems to be automatically assuming she goes in the regular Classic to try and match Tiznow's feat of back-to-back wins in that race. I don't think it is as cut and dry as that. There will be a lot of mitigating factors that go into the decision of which race to run her in. Where will Rachel decide to go? Will the win streak still be alive? Which field will present her the best chance to win? The Mosses and John Shirreffs will have to answer all these questions before too long.

Tune in tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!

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