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Aug 27, 2010

Rachel Alexandra highlights Personal Ensign Stakes



Saratoga Springs, NY (Sports Network) - Rachel Alexandra, 2009 Horse of the Year, gets back into action Sunday in the $300,000 Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. The four-year-old filly will take on four female challengers in the 1 1/4-mile race, her first attempt at the distance.

"Rachel feels very much at home among the great Saratoga fans," said co-owner, Jess Jackson when he announced that the filly would start in the Personal Ensign. "It's an historic race, named after a great champion. The timing is right for Rachel. She's been coming back into her stride and this will help her prepare for the rest of her campaign and the Breeders' Cup later this year."

Last year at Saratoga, Rachel defeated older male horses in the 1 1/8- mile Woodward Stakes.

Rachel Alexandra, trained by Steve Asmussen, will again be ridden by Calvin Borel and the pair will break from post two in the five horse field. Borel has been the champion's only race rider the last 13 starts.

The champion filly won the $400,000 Lady's Secret Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 24 in her most recent start. This year she has won two of four races, including her last two, for $498,376. In her career she has earned nearly $3.5 million with 13 wins in 18 starts.

While Rachel is expected to be a heavy favorite on Sunday, she will face formidable opposition.

Delaware Handicap winner Life At Ten should prove to be a difficult mare with which to contend. The five-year-old, like Rachel, is a speed horse who went wire-to-wire last time out at Delaware Park.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Life At Ten will be ridden by John Velazquez from post four. The chestnut mare, owned by Candy DeBartolo, is undefeated this year in four starts. In addition to the Del 'Cap, Life At Ten has won the Ogden Phipps, Sixty Sails and Rare Treat Stakes. In her career she has won seven of 14 starts for $909,267.

"She's in very good form right now, and she's obviously on a winning streak," Pletcher noted. "I think her races this year have been better than some have given her credit for, but I also think it's a very, very tall order to take on Rachel Alexandra."

Here is the complete field for the Personal Ensign in post position order: Miss Singhsix, Jose Valdivia, Jr.; Rachel Alexandra, Calvin Borel; Persistently, Alan Garcia; Life At Ten, John Velazquez and Classofsixtythree, Javier Castellano.

The Personal Ensign has a scheduled post-time of 6 p.m. (et).

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