Saturday, September 5, 2009

'Rachel Alexandra the Great'

What a fitting race call (quoted above) by Tom Durkin at Saratoga as Rachel Alexandra won the Woodward Stakes today -- a call I had to watch on delay and on the Web because horse racing can't manage to overcome college football for even 10 minutes to appear on a halfway major network.

Huge run by Rachel, doing all the work on the front end (Da' Tara sent from the gate?) and holding off a determined Macho Again by a slim margin at the wire.

Asiatic Boy was there on the turn, and then he wasn't. At this writing, I'm still not sure what happened to him. 

Rachel also won in 1:48.29, faster for the 9 furlongs than any of the last four runnings -- Curlin (1:49.34), the late Lawyer Ron (1:40.60), Premium Tap (1:50.65), and Saint Liam (1:49.07) -- but not as fleet as Ghostzapper (2004) and Mineshaft (2003), who each won in 1:46.20.

Certainly still "racehorse time" for Rachel, who, as a 3-year-old filly, benefited from an eight-pound break in the weights but was no lightweight in heart.

Congratulations to Rachel's connections as she earns another piece of history -- first female to win the Woodward, which has been run since 1954.

P.S. Horse of the year, even without running in a Breeders' Cup race? I'd have to think so.


  1. Nothing happened to Asiatic Boy other than that he was the victim of a horrible, horrible ride by Alan Garcia. Instead of waiting for the gap that opens up 80% of the time (as Albarado did on Macho Again), Garcia opted for the surefire way to finish off-the-board: going about 8 wide and finally entering the stretch 15 lengths behind opponents, with half a furlong more in his legs. Asiatic Boy's 4th place was actually a pretty strong effort under the circumstances.

    Also, the official chart is misleading. He was seventh with 1 1/2f to go (after basic geometry cost him two or three places entering the stretch), then dug and passed three rivals. Not what I'd call "drifted five wide at the quarter pole and steadily tired thereafter".

    Good race again by RA, although I found her Haskell way more impressive (on a number of levels). I guess she could use a layoff now. Early November may be a fine time to return, maybe at a West Coast track (just dreaming).

  2. At the time, I didn't even know Asiatic Boy had finished fourth -- since I hadn't watched the race on TV and only caught the video in a small browser window and at the time I couldn't even get THROUGH to to get a chart. (Don't know why, maybe a huge volume of traffic, but Equibase was all but dead in the water to me for an hour after the race.)

    I figured Asiatic Boy would come with some run and I heard Durkin mention his move on the turn. And then he was just gone.

  3. Glenn - I laughed at the irony of my last blog post and Sunday's Showcase, with its internet addiction article. Glad you agree!!! :-) Hope you are having a fantastic Labor Day!!!


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