Rachel Alexandra’s Humans Let Her Down

By Adele

On March 13, the reigning Horse of the Year, Rachel Alexandra, ran her first race in about 6 months and revealed she’d been getting too many pedicures while watching Mister Ed reruns over the winter.

After her last stunning victory on September 5, topping off nine straight wins by beating 7 older male horses, she just LOST the New Orleans Ladies race. Rightfully, her trainer, Steve Asmussen, took the blame for her less-than-stellar performance.

Rachel gave it her best shot, but a nobody still passed her.

That nobody was 6-year-old Zardana, a stablemate/spy of Zenyatta’s who was sent east to check Rachel out before her match-up with Zenyatta. Nobody expected Zardana to win.

On the West Coast that same day, 6-year-old Zenyatta stunningly won her 15th straight race and remained undefeated. At Santa Anita against 7 of the best mares and fillies in the country, she came from last place, making up 10 lengths in the final stretch, to win by 1 ¼ lengths.

Watch both races on ESPN.

So now Rachel has been scratched from the $5 million Apple Blossom race at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas on April 9, where she was supposed to race Zenyatta.

Zenyatta will still be at the Apple Blossom, which she won in 2008, but the $5 million purse will probably be less because it was contingent on Rachel.

I sure hope this was a one-off for Rachel, and she blows away the competition in her next race, whenever it is.

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4 Responses to Rachel Alexandra’s Humans Let Her Down

  1. Adele says:

    Adele, not only were Alice and I saddened by Rachel A.’s loss, but my sister called to report it and said that she knew that you’d be upset. I’d told her some time ago that you’d taken over the horse racing beat from Fred, so now my sister talks about the cat “with the same name as you” who’s into horse racing. I’m just sorry that Rachel and Zenyatta won’t be facing each other this year.

  2. catsworking says:

    Ah, so I’ve sucked your sister into my obsession with the horses. All is going as planned…

    I don’t count Rachel out yet. She’s a champion and I expect her loss was a major wake-up call. If they get her back into her training routine, she and Zenyatta could meet this year yet. The season has just begun.

    Did you watch Zenyatta’s race? She was truly amazing.

  3. afleetalexforever says:

    Its funny how Zardana a Grade II winner is a nobody but the allowance horses that Zenyatta beat out in Cali are all in your words “7 of the best mares and fillies in the country”, Its alarming how when you have access to setting up and writing a blog you become a professional with knowledge of horse racing even if you know absolutely nothing at all about it. For instance did you take a look at the past performances of the horses that Zenyatta faced. Let’s get it from the black and white print. Dance my Tune the runner up in the race is a highly touted mare a 6 year old who since 2008 is 0-10, lifetime 4-28 with her best finish being a 3rd place in a 100k stakes. wow. Floating Heart is 3-9 in her last races with the 3 wins coming in a maiden race and two allowance races. Striking Dancer is an impressive 4 year old she has won 4 of 11 races with 2 allowance victories and a Grade 2 win to her credit. Pretty Unusual is a 4 year old that is 3/12 lifetime, with a Grade 2 win to her credit. Made for Magic is 6/29 lifetime with a 2/10 streak credited to her current form. Pretty Katherine is 3/15 in her career with her biggest win being a optional claimer. and Gripsholm Castle is an import that is 2/5 in her career with lower level allowance wins to her credit in Europe. So those are ur more than stellar participants in Zenyatta’s race on Saturday. Hmmmmmmm do you ever do research before you type false information or just put down on paper or ur computer what you feel because it makes you seem like an amateur.

  4. catsworking says:

    Welcome, afleetalexforever! As it so happens, I AM a total amateur and relatively new to the sport. I’m also a cat. Thank you for all that background on the other horses in Zenyatta’s race. I did not research them all, but believed the accounts of the race I read, so I guess all the reporters didn’t have your level of in-depth knowledge either. Very interesting though.

    Karen was a big fan of Afleet Alex after seeing him stumble in a big race (sorry, she can’t remember which one it was, probably one of the Triple Crown races), then recover and go on to win it. It’s was a spine-chilling moment with a mercifully happy ending.

    I’ve also read somewhere that Zenyatta keeps beating the same horses in her races, so they’re really not much of a challenge for her. Even so, you have to give her credit for never losing a race in her life. She’s never had an “off” race day, which happens to so many other horses.

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