RACHEL ALEXANDRA - 2009 Preakness Stakes
Calvin Borel made the right choice and history was made May 16 at Pimlico, when for the first time, the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner not only ran in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) but won the race in convincing fashion. Rachel Alexandra won the middle jewel of the Triple Crown by a length over Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird. The week following her win in the Oaks, Rachel Alexandra was purchased by Jess Jackson and Harold McCormick and transferred from trainer Hal Wiggins to Steve Asmussen. Borel, who had ridden both Rachel Alexandra in the Oaks and Mine That Bird in the Derby, was asked to continue riding the filly and he agreed. Mine That Birds trainer, Chip Woolley, picked up Mike Smith on the Derby winner. It made for one of the most intriguing Preakness Stakes ever, and after drawing post 13, Borel knew he would have to send the filly from the outset, which he did. Big Drama, under John Velazquez, who had the rail, was an obvious pacesetter and he went with the filly as the field went down the stretch the first time and through the first turn. They went the opening quarter in :23.13 and the half in :46.71. Borel was able to open up just a bit on the backstretch but he had used the daughter of Medaglia dOro a great deal to get the lead and knew he had to try and slow the pace a bit. "I was comfortable early, but down the backside they started to pick it up," Borel said. Big Drama, who had skipped the Derby, was still in second down ...
Tags: preakness, stakes, horse, racing, rachel, alexandra, calvin, borel, tom, durkin, filly, mine, that, bird
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