Race of the Week 2017

Rachel Alexandra is Retired

Rachel Alexandra is Retired

A day after Rachel Alexandra  turned in a bullet four-furlong work at Saratoga’s Oklahoma Training Track, her majority owner, Jess Jackson, announced that the reigning Horse of the Year had been retired from racing.

"As you know, despite top training and a patient campaign, Rachel Alexandra did not return to her 2009 form,” Jackson said. “I believe it's time to retire our champion and reward her with a less stressful life. We are delighted she will retire healthy and happy to our beautiful farm in Kentucky (Stonestreet Farm near Lexington).

“Rachel Alexandra owes us nothing. As a 3-year-old, she set standards and records that no filly before her ever achieved. And I suspect it will be quite a while before a 3-year-old filly ever equals or surpasses her achievements. Although her fans were thrilled by a series of spectacular victories, I believe they, as we, were simply awed time and again by her sheer beauty, courage, and athleticism.”

During her spotless eight-race campaign in 2009, Rachel Alexandra defeated fillies by more than 20 lengths in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and 19 lengths in the Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) and she also beat males in the grade I Preakness, Haskell, and Woodward. Off the track, the daughter of Medaglia d'Oro helped raise money for cancer research, education, and other charitable causes.

After being trained to early success by now-retired conditioner Hal Wiggins, who saddled her to victory in the Oaks, Rachel Alexandra was purchased privately by Jackson and Harold T. McCormick from her previous owners Dolphus Morrison and Mike Lauffer.

"I have been blessed to have been part of history,” said trainer Steve Asmussen, who took over the reins from Wiggins in 2009. “We are all very fortunate that Rachel carried the banner following Curlin's amazing success story. The fans adored her, we all did. She had the most fluid and beautiful stride of any horse I have ever seen. It's been quite a ride.”

"On behalf of my partner Hal McCormick, I want to thank Steve Asmussen, Scott Blasi, and the entire Asmussen Racing team for their immense contributions to Rachel's success story,” Jackson said. “And last, but far from least, let me thank the great (jockey) Calvin Borel.

“Now we are looking to the future. We are eager to introduce Rachel to Curlin. Imagine what possibilities those two super horses might produce," Jackson concluded.

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Older Comments about Rachel Alexandra is Retired...

Another in a long line of young horses trained by Asmussen that leave it all on the track in their 3 or 4 year old season. Zenyatta wins this round.
I have seen. over the years, OTHER fillies overdo and never come back...Some real good ones like Storm Flag Flying.
A friend writes for the Saratogan newspaper. He watched her LEAVE herself on the track. Why do you think it took so long for this one to comeback?
Was RA's 2009 campaign to taxing on her. Who really knows. In hindsight i guess she could have skipped the Woodward, in that most agree that was the race that took the most out of her. Then again if she never competed those races we wouldn't be talking about her today. The reason that she was Horse of the Year was that she ran a number of races out of her element and competed in races where the outcome wasn't ensured. In her races against the boys she ran hard every step of the way and the splits were more then honest. There was absolutely no other horse in training male or female who came close to her accomplishments in 2009. In closing I must respond to Bband, the b must stand for befuddled, your comment must be surley coming from sore loser as RA never ducked anyone and that I challenge you or anyother person to name any other filly who could outshine her.
think zenyatta and curlin would be a better breed...........
Rachel had a fantastic 2009 season. But that 2009 season is why she's in retirement today. In near shame from the physical toll she paid in 2010 for that 2009 season. Gross mismanagement from Jess Jackson and Steve Asmussen. No other way to say it. The point was made in the 2009 Preakness that Rachel was talented enough to beat males. She wasn't a big, behemoth mare like Zenyatta. She was an average size, 3yr.old filly. Who still had a lot of growing, filling out, and maturing to do. But instead, she was ran completely into the ground in 2009. Jackson has taken what could've been one of American racing's all time great fillies. And has now left her with the legacy, because of that gross mismanagement, of being forever remembered now as simply a "one year wonder." I personally think this retirement is a race or two overdue. I wish this talented filly, who had the misfortune of getting involved with Jess Jackson, good things in the breeding shed.
Owner blindness: happens at every level of the game from the rookie to the experienced......When it is obvious to almost everyone else many of them cannot see it...Gald this one finally did.
I think she needed more time off. It was too early to retire her. She will be missed.
Connections discovered what was a problem of owner blindness: she was through and stated as such on the track.
I wish they could have waited until after the Breeders Cup to retire her.
A sad and confusing day. I don't understand why a horse that is prepping & runs a bullet one day is retired the very next. Perhaps they scoped her after the workout and something was wrong but I doubt we'll ever know. Regardless of whether you cheered for her or not there are two things that one can never take away from her: 1. She put together one of the greatest 3 year old campaigns for a filly in the history of racing & 2. She was wonderful for the sport. She & Zenyatta have been wildly popular & have brought a ton of needed interest & attention to a sport that we all here obviously love, but is clearly struggling. I can only hope that in a few months when they are both gone that 2 more horses can emerge that can garner half the interest that these two did.
although im a Zenyatta fan im sad to see that Rachel has been retired. I was hoping that she would race Zenyatta this year in the breeders cup classic.
Agree. They should have let her finish out the year. The problem was the Beldame was coming up tough, so there was nowhere to duck and they didn't want to see her run sixth. That's sort of chicken-shit, as she might have run a great race and surprised everyone.
It's too bad. I was seriously hoping that we would have a showdown between Zenyatta and Rachel. There are several great match-ups we could have seen over the years, like Curlin vs Big Brown in the 2008 BC Classic, Barbaro vs Invasor, Ghostzapper vs Afleet Alex, Funny Cide vs Empire Maker in the 2003 Travers. It's bad enough that we haven't had a Triple Crown winner in the last 32 years, but can we at least have an outstanding head-to-head rivalry?

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