I wrote shortly after the Preakness Stakes that I’d be surprised if Rachel Alexandra ran in the Belmont Stakes on June 6, and earlier today it became official that the fabulous filly will not run. That means Calvin Borel will ride Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird in the Belmont.
Here’s the statement released by co-owner Jess Jackson on behalf of Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick:
“Rachel Alexandra is an incredible thoroughbred who has proven to be
the best three year old in racing today. We are elated by all the
attention her wins in the Oaks and Preakness has garnered the sport.
The many letters and emails we have received from young girls and racing
enthusiasts lets us know that many fans are proud of Rachel. When we
purchased Rachel, our goal was to restore the sport’s vitality and
grow its fan base by extending the racing careers of its stars.
After careful consideration, we have decided not to run Rachel
Alexandra in the Belmont Stakes next weekend. We have advised Calvin
Borel, Chip Woolley and Belmont of our decision. We thank them, the
media and the fans for their many courtesies and patience while we
We know the media and many fans would have liked to see her run in the
Belmont Stakes — we feel the same. But all of us sincerely interested
in the horse must agree that we only want to see her run when it is best
for her. While she is in great shape, having strong works, and
recovering well from her amazing performances, we feel Rachel deserves a
well-earned vacation. Since March 14, Rachel has won four graded races
with just two weeks rest between her last two victories. We will always
put her long-term well being first. And, of course, we want to run her
when she is fresh.
Rachel, her owners, her trainers and her fans can continue to
anticipate an exciting campaign. All major races will be considered as
we look to the rest of Rachel’s racing career.”