Horse Racing Hijacked by 2 Female Phenoms

By Adele

Rachel Alexandra, the freakish filly who won the Preakness, robbing Mine That Bird of his jockey and his shot at the Triple Crown, has done it again. On June 27 at Belmont in New York, she became the first filly ever to win her next race after beating boys, and broke 2 other records.

Rachel ran in the Mother Goose Stakes against only 2 other fillies for 1 1/8 mile, but her 1:46:33 time set a new stakes record. Rachel could have blown through Secretariat’s slightly faster record at Belmont, but since she was ahead by more than 19 lengths, jockey Calvin Borel let her ease up in the final stretch.

While racking up her 7th consecutive win, Rachel also beat Ruffian’s 13 ½-length margin of victory from 1975. But this was all in a day’s racing for Rachel.

In California, the amazing Zenyatta wiped the track at Hollywood Park with her 5 female competitors in the Vanity Handicap. Carrying Mike Smith at 129 pounds, which was 13-16 more pounds than the other horses (the “handicap”) and the heaviest weight of her career, the 5-year-old mare came from last on the 1 1/8 mile synthetic course to win by 2 ½ lengths for a time of 1:48:15.

Mike Smith and Zenyatta (Benoit Photo - LA Times)

Mike Smith and Zenyatta (Benoit Photo - LA Times)

Zenyatta is unbeaten, and this was her 11th consecutive win.

The buzz now is all about when these two superstars will match up, but nobody knows. Zenyatta’s only left California once for a race, and Rachel’s owner isn’t eager to have her run on synthetic turf on the West Coast.

I’m kind of hoping the girls never meet. Otherwise, one of them will have to lose.

2 Responses to Horse Racing Hijacked by 2 Female Phenoms

  1. Adele says:

    Adele, I’m so glad you’re carrying on Fred’s interest in horseracing. I’ll have to tell my sister, since she was beginning to take Fred’s opinions into consideration, even sometimes saying, “Well what does that cat think about the race?” She’ll be pleased to hear that there’ll now be a female slant on The Sport of Kings.

    Alice and I are big Rachel Alexandra fans but hadn’t heard about Zenyatta. Isn’t 5 kind of old to be racing? Is Zenyatta a big girl as well?

  2. catsworking says:

    Cole’s interested in racing, too. Seems he watched it sometimes in the joint, and told me there was even a little betting going on in the cat room, with the winner getting extra quality time on the best perches overlooking the bird feeder.

    Zenyatta and Big Brown were both beat out by Curlin for for Horse of the Year last year. She won 8 races in 2008.

    Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra are both really big horses. Yesterday the commentators were comparing their personalities, saying Rachel is lady-like and just gets down to business.

    Zenyatta’s kind of full of herself. She does a little dance every time they saddle her for a race, and she likes to stare at the other horses to intimidate them. I guess at 5, she’s been around the track (literally) enough to feel confident. And since she’s never lost a race in her life, she just goes out there knowing what she has to do. She also has a really long stride. Also, Hollywood Park is her home track, so she feels most comfortable there, and on that plastic turf.

    In a match-up somewhere neutral, I think Rachel could win. Maybe only by a nose, but if any horse could pull it off, she could. In her race yesterday, they said some of the other horses were scratched because they just didn’t see any point in trying to beat her.

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