Rachel’s her name…winning is her game

When you’re a racing fan is there anything more fun than when an acquaintance or family member, who doesn’t share the same passion, calls you to talk about a race run that day or weekend?  Many of us experienced that this weekend as Rachel Alexandra was the famous name uttered more than any on Saturday after her spectacular victory in the Preakness.  Though her Beyer figure was the same as the one she earned in the Kentucky Oaks and her margin of victory diminished with each stride, she did what hadn’t been done in 85 years. 

The performance of the weekend was undoubtedly Rachel Alexandra’s Preakness victory, but there were a number of notable efforts.  Here’s a look at some of the very best:

DIXIE

The Dixie was a considerably stronger race in 2009 than it was in each of the past two years as a deep field of 11 was drawn with Parading, the smashing winner of the Ben Ali on Polytrack, being sent off as the favorite.  He obliged with a solid pace-stalking win as he took over inside the final three-sixteenths and finished gamely to hold over the fast-closing Just As Well.  Look for Parading to be a major player on the turf and in the synthetic handicap division this year.
Click here to watch the Dixie

GALLORETTE

The Gallorette was supposed to be the triumphant 2009 unveiling of Dynaforce, who was a Grade I winner in 2008.   She was done with a half-mile to go and it looked like All is Vanity was soon to earn a breakthrough victory for trainer Christophe Clement.  Only a furious finish by Social Queen would deny All is Vanity and that’s exactly what occurred in the final 100 yards. 
Click here to watch the Gallorette

HIRSCH JACOBS

The 3YOs assembled in this event looked like 2nd tier horses who were one win away from moving to the upper echelon.  We may have found one major player for the summer and fall sprint races as Everyday Heroes ran a phenomenal race as he scored a decisive win, his 3rd in 4 career starts.  He earned a strong Beyer figure of 106 and is certainly a force to be reckoned with in the coming months.
Click here to watch the Hirsch Jacobs

SHUVEE

Seattle Smooth was expected to roll to a decisive victory in here but a bit of traffic trouble in what amounted to a ho-hum effort had her only 3/4 of a length clear at the end.  She didn’t move forward much, if at all, from her 2009 debut and is clearly a useful horse but seems a touch below the best of her division, the Preakness winner notwithstanding.
Click here to watch the Shuvee

It will now be a long three weeks until the Belmont.  Whether we’ll see the highly anticipated rematch between Rachel Alexandra and Mine That Bird or just the latter of the two, we won’t know for some time.  However, it should be a very entertaining race with a prospective field that looks like this:

Charitable Man (McLaughlin)
Chocolate Candy (Hollendorfer)
Dunkirk (Pletcher)
Flying Private (Lukas)
Luv Gov (Lukas)
Mine That Bird (Woolley)
Miner’s Escape (Zito)
Mr. Hot Stuff (Harty)
Rachel Alexandra (Asmussen)
Summer Bird (Ice)

We’ll be back tomorrow to look at the upcoming week at Belmont, which will include the Metropolitan Handicap on Memorial Day.  Good luck!

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