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Sep 11, 2009

Rachel Alexandra remains first in NTRA Poll



New York, NY (Sports Network) - Three-year-old filly Rachel Alexandra, coming off a victory in the Woodward Stakes, received 21 of 22 possible first-place votes to remain atop the latest NTRA Thoroughbred Poll.

In the Woodward the filly defeated seven older male horses at Saratoga.

Owned by Jess Jackson and Harold McCormick, Rachel Alexandra garnered 219 total points in the current poll compared to five-year-old mare Zenyatta's 190 points and one first-place vote. The filly is perfect in eight starts this year while the mare has won all three 2009 starts.

Arlington Million winner Gio Ponti is third with Belmont and Travers champ Summer Bird fourth. Completing the top ten are Forever Together, Einstein, Macho Again, Fabulous Strike, Mine That Bird and Icon Project.

Rachel Alexandra, trained by Steve Asmussen, has victories this year in the Kentucky Oaks, Preakness, Mother Goose and Haskell Invitational. Jackson, who owned two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, is now weighing options on the filly's remaining 2009 schedule.

"You can't expect a youngster, she's only three and she just ran against older horses, to keep going all the time," Jackson said. "You have to give them a break, and we'll talk that over very seriously."

The New York Racing Association, along with TVG-Betfair, is willing to increase the purse of the $600,000 Beldame at Belmont Park this fall to $1 million to have Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta meet.

Lifetime the filly, who is ridden by Calvin Borel, has won 11 of 14 races for more than $2.9 million, including $2.7 million this year.

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