Rachel Alexandra makes Preakness history
During the running of the Kentucky Derby, Mine That Bird had the crowd on their feet with a spectacular victory. Coming into the Preakness Stakes however, a surprise and late entry, would upset the apple cart, but set the scene for a breathtaking showdown at the Belmont Stakes. When Rachel Alexandra was entered into the 134th Preakness Stakes, which was hosted by the Pimlico Race Track on Saturday, no-one had any doubts that she was a magnificent racehorse, they just were not sure how she would perform against her male counterparts.
Jess Jackson, legendary majority owner of the sensational Curlin, and now majority owner of Rachel Alexander was bursting with pride as his prize filly crossed the finish line at the Preakness Stakes in first position. Her victory was not only another milestone in her horse racing career, but another memorable moment in the history of this event, as she became the first filly since 1924 to win this leg of the Triple Crown. Mine That Bird finished in a close second position, but it is hoped that these two horses will challenge each other again in the upcoming Belmont Stakes that will take place in New York on the 6th of June 2009.
Chip Woolley, trainer of Mine That Bird, was proud of his horse’s performance, commenting, "My horse run his guts out and just got beat. If you're going to win here, you got to get a real good trip and we didn't." Jockey Mike Smith was also not disappointed at Mine That Birds’ determination on the track, after running into trouble with Flying Private and jockey Alan Garcia. In regard to the hit between these two horses, Woolley explained, "He had to check a little, just enough to break your momentum. It's amazing the horse could pick it back up and get back to running as quickly as he did. It's huge when you get beat a length. If he gets a little cleaner run at her, maybe he's got a chance to beat her."
Even though Jackson is confident that Rachel Alexandra will be heading towards the Belmont Stakes, he stressed that the decision will be up to her, completely. After a few days rest, she will return to training, and if she is doing well in her training sessions, they will definitely be in the starting gates in New York. Spectators and fans will no doubt be holding out for another nail biting horse racing event, with Mine Than Bird and Rachel Alexander squaring off again.