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Apr 23, 2010

Rachel opens eyes with sharp drill

By: By Don Agriss, Horse Racing Editor



Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Word from Churchill Downs on Monday morning was that defending Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra had an eye- popping six-furlong workout on the Louisville surface.

The four-year-old filly went the three-quarters in 1:11 2/5 with regular exercise rider Dominic Terry in the saddle. The champion is training for her next start after finishing a close second to Zardana in the New Orleans Ladies Classic at the Fair Grounds.

"She worked crazy good," said trainer Steve Asmussen. "She's had three works here since she's been here and they have been extremely 'Rachelesque.' I'm happy to see her putting in work like she did last year."

Owned by Stonestreet Stable and Harold McCormick, Rachel galloped out Monday morning in a tick over 1:24 for seven-furlongs. Last week the champion filly went six-furlongs in 1:12 after going five-furlongs in 1:00 1/5 the previous week.

No word on when or where Rachel will start next. There has been talk of her racing in Churchill's La Troienne on the day before the Run for the Roses. The La Troienne is a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares with a purse of $400,000. Last year the La Troienne was renamed for the ill-fated filly Eight Belles.

This year the Eight Belles is a separate stakes for three-year-old fillies.

Rachel Alexandra, who is ridden by Calvin Borel, is currently third in the NTRA Thoroughbred Poll. She finds herself looking up at unbeaten mare Zenyatta in first and four-year-old colt Quality Road in second.

Rachel was perfect in eight starts in 2009, winning the Kentucky Oaks by 20 1/4-lengths at Churchill Downs.

This year the Kentucky Oaks for three-year-old fillies will be absent 2009 champion two-year-old filly She Be Wild. Trained by Wayne Catalano, She Be Wild suffered a broken left pastern bone during a jog at Keeneland.

She Be Wild, owned by Nancy Mazzoni. won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita last November. On April 3 the champion filly was third to Evening Jewel in the Ashland at Keeneland. She Be Wild will recuperate at her owner's Kentucky farm.

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