The venue changed from Fair Grounds to
Churchill Downs, and the rival changed from Zardana to Unrivaled
Belle, but in the end Rachel Alexandra fell a head short for the
second consecutive time.
Rachel Alexandra, once again, was made
a heavy favorite as bettors expected the daughter of Medaglia d'Oro
to regain her 2009 Horse of the Year form in today's La Troienne at
Churchill Downs, but it was not meant to be. This time around it was
Unrivaled Belle who outdueled Rachel Alexandra.
Rachel Alexandra went to the lead early
along with D. Wayne Lukas' Be Fair to establish a fairly leisurely
early pace getting the first quarter mile in 24 3/5 and the opening
half mile in 48 4/5. Jockey Calvin Borel had a hold on Rachel
Alexandra who was loping along through those soft early fractions.
Unsurprisingly the slow pace caused the field to be fairly bunched
early with Zardana Unrivaled Belle, and Distinctive Dixie stalking
the leaders, and Morena just a few lengths back at the tail end of
the small pack.
As they rounded the turn for home
Rachel Alexandra and Unrivaled Belled began to seperate from the
pack, as Zardana and Be Mine threw in the towel. Morena was picking
up the pieces for third while Unrivaled Belle battled Rachel
Alexandra for the win. At the sixteenth pole the pair was even, with
both contenders under heavy drives. At the line it was clear that,
for the second straight time, Rachel Alexandra would come home second
best at extremely short odds.
Unrivaled Belle notched her second
straight graded stakes win in the La Troienne after taking the Grade
III Rampart at Gulfstream Park in March. The grey or roan filly is by
superstar stallion Unbridled's Song and is out of the Bertrando mare
Queenie Belle. Kent Desormeaux was the winning jockey, and Bill Mott
the winning trainer. Unrivaled Belle covered the 1 1/16 mile distance
of the La Troienne in 1:42.97.