After coming from last to whiz past all the other horses in the final stretch of the Kentucky Derby, everyone was wondering if Mine That Bird’s turbo-charged win was a fluke.
Turns out, the Bird’s the real thing and did have a shot at the Triple Crown — until this tomboy filly, Rachel Alexandra, showed up at Pimlico for the Preakness Stakes yesterday. She had 5 straight wins behind her, all run under the Bird’s Derby jockey, Calvin Borel. For the Preakness, Borel defected back to Rachel, predicting she’d win the race.
Mine That Bird took that slap in the face with grace. And he didn’t get rattled at the gate when the horse beside him, Big Drama, started over-acting and had to be backed out and reloaded.
Mine That Bird’s a great horse with or without Borel. He was 18 lengths from the lead at one point, but made it up and lost by only one length to Rachel. Everybody’s now calling her “Alexandra the Great,” since she’s the first filly to win the Preakness since 1924.
Watch the race for yourself.
My former favorite, General Quarters, also ran, only to get lost in the crowd again. He came in 9th, but still beat two of the favorites, Friesan Fire and Pioneerof the Nile.
We don’t know yet if Rachel and the Bird will have a rematch at Belmont in 3 weeks. The last filly to win that one was Rags to Riches in 2007.
This has all created some tension at Cats Working because Adele’s rooting for Rachel Alexandra. But I’m betting my treats on Mine That Bird.
Once Rachel’s racing days are over, there’s talk she’ll be meeting Curlin in hopes they hit it off and produce a super-horse together. Rachel will have her hooves full with Curlin who, in retirement, is reported to be quite a ladies’ man.