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Oct 01, 2010

Fair Grounds stakes named for Rachel Alexandra


New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Upon word that 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra had been retired, officials at Fair Grounds Race Course announced that a stakes race will be renamed in her honor.

The last prep race leading to the Fair Grounds Oaks, which was won by Rachel last year, has been re-titled the Rachel Alexandra Stakes.

"Rachel graced us with one of the most impressive performances in our track's history when she won the Fair Grounds Oaks in a gallop," said track vice president and general manager Eric Halstrom. "Then last season she generated unprecedented excitement and a record crowd when she became the first reigning Horse of the Year to race at Fair Grounds in almost six decades. She is one of the all-time legends not only of Fair Grounds but of our sport."

The $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes will now bear the name of the filly that won all eight 2009 starts, including the Fair Grounds Oaks. The 1 1/16-mile stakes will be conducted on Saturday, February 19, five weeks prior to the Oaks.

"Rachel Alexandra waged a three-year-old campaign that was nothing short of historic, both for its flawlessness and its ambition," stated Alex Waldrop, President and CEO, National Thoroughbred Racing Association. "We commend all those who played such a large part in her greatness, most notably co-owners Jess Jackson and Harold McCormick, trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Calvin Borel. Rachel Alexandra provided countless thrills to fans all around the world, and all of us now undoubtedly look forward to the racing exploits of her offspring."

Rachel won the 2009 Fair Grounds Oaks in her second start of the year and defeated Flying Spur by 1 3/4-lengths. The filly covered the 1 1/16-miles in 1:43.55.

The Tiffany Lass Stakes will be renamed the Silverbulletday Stakes and will be the first in Fair Grounds' three-race series for three-year-old fillies. The $100,000 event at 1-mile and 40 yards will kick-off the series on Saturday, January 22.

The track's 2010-11 live racing season will begin this Thanksgiving Day, November 25 and conclude on Sunday, March 27.

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