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A Filly Enters the Preakness Picture

2009 May 8
by Skip Sauer

And not just any filly, but Rachel Alexandra, who crushed the Kentucky Oaks field by 20+ lengths as the odds-on favorite. She’s so good that Derby winner Mine That Bird’s jockey, Calvin Borel, has hopped off him in favor of Rachel. It is safe to say, I think, that no jockey has ever taken off the Derby winner for another horse in the second jewel of the Triple Crown. Holy Cow!

Here’s Joe Drape on the switch. Rachel Alexandra was just sold to wine magnate Jess Jackson, who is out to prove a point on breeding sound horses (Jackson owned another solid, sound horse, Curlin, who beat Street Sense to win the Preakness two years ago). I prefer Jackson’s point to that of Rachel’s prior, traditionalist owner who refused to run the filly in the Triple Crown races on the premise that they were designed for colts to enhance their stud value. Many a good horse has been ruined chasing the dream of the Triple Crown, a series which, for all the interest it generates, has contributed to an unsound stock of thoroughbred genes.

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