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Jun 11, 2010

Rachel Alexandra versus four in Fleur de Lis



Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Rachel Alexandra, 2009 Horse of the Year, goes after her first win of 2010 on Saturday in the $200,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares will be the first in six weeks for the four-year-old filly.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, Rachel has drawn post four with regular rider Calvin Borel in the saddle. The filly, who will carry 124 pounds, will face four challengers in the race and is expected to be the odds-on favorite when the gate opens.

"As long as she continues to progress, we intend to race her with the expectation that she will obtain her fitness level of last year," said majority owner Jess Jackosn in a press statement. "Our ultimate goal and hope is to enter the Breeders' Cup in November."

Owned by Jackson's Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick, Rachel has come up short in her initial two starts this year. She was second to Zardana at the Fair Grounds in the New Orleans Ladies Classic and runner-up to Unrivaled Belle at Churchill Downs in the La Troienne.

Undefeated in eight starts in 2009 the filly has career earnings of just over $3 million with 11 wins in 16 lifetime races.

As a three-year-old Rachel won the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs by 20 1/4- lengths and proceeded to capture the Preakness, Mother Goose and Haskell Invitational. She finished her 2009 campaign by beating older male thoroughbreds in the Woodward at Saratoga.

Here is the complete field for Fleur de Lis in post position order: Multipass, Jose Lezcano; Made for Magic, Omar Berrio; Distinctive Dixie, Robby Albarado; Rachel Alexandra, Calvin Borel and Jessica Is Back, Garrett Gomez.

This will be the 36th running of the Fleur de Lis and has a scheduled post- time of 3:26 p.m. (et).

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