Jess Jackson, who is best known recently as the owner of Curlin and Rachel Alexandra, passed away at the age of 81 due to complications from the cancer that he has suffered from for quite some time.
Jackson always did things his way when it came to his horses. Curlin won two Horse Of The Year Awards under Jackson's watch in 2007 and 2008. Rachel Alexandra made it a three-peat for Jackson-owned horses in 2009. Those two horses are now destined to be further connected in the future, as Rachel Alexandra is in foal to Curlin.
Curlin won the Preakness in 2007, in an exciting stretch duel with the 2007 Kentucky Derby winner, Street Sense. Curlin, by the way, had finished third in the Derby. Curlin would go on to drill the entire field in the 2007 Breeders' Cup Classic over the sloppy track at Monmouth.
Rachel Alexandra would win the 2009 Preakness, holding off the Kentucky Derby winner also, Mine That Bird, who made a furious charge that fell short. Rachel had inspired comparisons to the greats of the past with her 20-length victory in the Kentucky Oaks the day before the Derby. It was after that performance that Jackson had purchased the filly. Rachel would never get the chance to run in the Breeders' Cup in 2009, as Jackson elected not to send her to California to run over what he called the "plastic" synthetic surface Santa Anita had at the time.
It is a shame that Jackson didn't get the chance to see his two great champions produce what is currently expected to be a superfoal. Of course, you never can tell what will come after Rachel Alexandra delivers the foal, he or she may be great, he or she may not be great. Whatever comes from the pairing of the two great ones, the one certainty will be that the foal will continue the tremendous racing legacy of Jess Jackson, which has been cut far too short.
Tune in again tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!