Monday, August 3, 2009

Move Over Ruffian (G1 Haskell)

Rachel Alexandra worked over a talented field of seven to run off with the G1 Haskell Sunday in near track record time. In the process she stamped herself as arguably the greatest filly the sport has ever seen.

In both of her starts against the boys the pace has been brutal. Sunday the early fractions were 22.4, 46.2 and 1:09.4. To be clear, 1:09 wins graded stakes races sprinting. The phenomenal thing about Rachel is the fractions don't bother her. Its like everyone is in overdrive while she's still in cruise control.

To have so much left in the tank after that early pace was amazing.

She's a special filly.

In this sport we often have to break out the history books to read of great horses. Its common on internet forums and fan circles to wonder aloud when the next "great" will grace us. Well, that great horse is here and her name is Rachel Alexandra.

Ruffian was a great filly, but she never beat males like Rachel has twice now. Ruffian set stakes records virtually every time she ran, but she did face suspect competition. Sunday Rachel ran one-fifth off the track record and its worth noting the record was set before modern timers, where hundredths of a second are recorded. Its quite possible Rachel equaled the 31 year old record as we will not know exactly what Majestic Light ran. Rachel also destroyed a stakes record in the Mother Goose, despite gearing down the entire stretch. She's swift and she's having to break infinitely faster records than Ruffian did a quarter century ago. What also goes in her favor is how rateable she is. Ruffian knew one thing, go. Rachel can set the pace, stalk or close. Whatever Calvin asks, she does.

The only thing left for her is beating her elders. (Something Ruffian did not do)

Zenyatta vs Rachel Alexandra anyone?

1 comment:

The_Knight_Sky said...

Greatness has price.

This means we will probably see Rachel Alexandra race once more this year. Twice if we're lucky.

The Horse of the Year honors is hers to lose at this point And she can't stub her toe and ruin a what has been a perfect 2009 campaign.