Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Rachel Alexandra To The Haskell

Jess Jackson announced yesterday that Rachel Alexandra will next start in the G1 Haskell Invatational on August 1 at Monmouth Park. The $1,000,000 event, run over 9-furlongs will be her second start against male competition.

Her chief rival will be Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird, who famously upset the "other Bird" Mine That Bird in the Test of Champions. Arkansas Derby winner Papa Clem is being pointed to the race, though you have to wonder what they'll do now with Rachel in the race, after their disappointing effort last weekend in the Long Branch.

This is a smart move by the connections of the filly. One, she is in great shape now, so why put off another meeting with the boys? If you've followed this game long you know how fragile these animals can be and sometimes you have to strike while hot. Also, the distance of 9-furlongs is ideal for her. Distance could be a great equalizer for her against the boys, but at 9-furlongs her speed should be able to hold.

Its nice to see that they are willing to test the filly with regularity. 20 length romps like her effort in the restricted Mother Goose last month, don't give anyone a real idea of just how good the filly is. If she is their heir to Ruffian like many believe, the Haskell should not be a problem. Luckily, they are giving her the chance to really prove her worth.


The_Knight_Sky said...

I don't think she's a heir to Ruffian but her tractability makes her dangerous in any race, at any distance, against either sex.
She's truly one of a kind but I need to see more against high quality opponents.

It's great that Monmouth Park pulled this off. Let's hope all the potential participants stay healthy now until post time.

I have stocked up on some NyQuil in case someone "spikes a fever" or something. ;-)

Gary said...

I think she's on the right path to be in Ruffian's league. A couple wins over males and a victory over her elders will look mighty impressive. Of course, time/speed will be huge, because while Ruffian was beating average competition, she was doing it freakishly fast.

I hope we see Rachel, Big Drame, Munnings, Summer Bird, Papa Clem in the Haskell. That would be some race. It also would have so much speed the Bird Man might be the play.

lol @ stockpiling the NyQuil!

The_Knight_Sky said...

It looks like Big Drama and Papa Clem are out of the Haskell.

Big Drama's trained by David Fawkes
and he's great with stakes shippers.
He just won the Iowa Derby with a Calder allowance horse. So he bears watching.

As for Papa Clem I don't think he's "right" enough to take on the elite.
Back to California and the drawing board after the two turn "prep" for the Haskell. Atomic Rain won that Long Branch so he's interesting for the verticals.

PS: you've built up some good stuff here. Keep it up !