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Jun 04, 2010

June 12 targeted for Rachel Alexandra start


Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Defending Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra came out of her Memorial Day workout in fine condition and will likely make her next start on June 12.

"We were impressed with Rachel's Memorial Day work breezing six furlongs 1:11.20," noted majority owner Jess Jackson, "and galloping out a mile in 1:38. Her next work is Monday, June 7.

"Assuming she continues to progress, we are considering one of the following June 12 races for Rachel's next preparation: The Stephen Foster, The Fleur de Lis, The Ogden Phipps or The Obeah."

The Stephen Foster is a handicap race at Churchill Downs where the champion filly would take on male thoroughbreds. Also at Churchill will be the Fleur de Lis for fillies and mares.

The Ogden Phipps is a handicap at Belmont Park for fillies and mares. Zardana, who beat Rachel in the New Orleans Ladies, is scheduled to enter the Phipps. The Obeah is a prep race for the Delaware Handicap at Delaware Park for fillies and mares.

"Our ultimate goal has not changed in scheduling Rachel Alexandra's campaign this year," Jackson added. "We are getting her back to her fitness level of last year with the long term hope to race her in the Breeders' Cup this fall."

Owned by Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick, the champion racehorse is still seeking her first win of the year. She suffered her first loss of 2010, after going undefeated in eight starts last year, at the Fair Grounds on March 13 to Zardana by three-quarters of a length in the New Orleans Ladies Classic. Rachel was again second in the La Troienne at Churchill Downs on April 30 to Unrivaled Belle.

In 2009 the filly defeated three-year-old colts in the Preakness and Haskell Invitational, and older males in the Woodward.

Rachel Alexandra has career earnings of just over $3 million with 11 wins in 16 lifetime races.

Meanwhile, undefeated mare Zenyatta is being prepared for her next race on June 13 in the Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park. The six-year-old has won the last two editions of the Vanity and is perfect in 16 career starts.

Zenyatta was scheduled to work Tuesday morning in her next-to-last drill for the $250,000 Vanity. This year she won the Santa Margarita Handicap at Santa Anita Park and the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park.

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