I asked Calvin Borel, jockey for the star 3-year-old filly Rachel Alexandra, to rate her victories this year during a national teleconference this week. Borel has been aboard Rachel Alexandra for her past six starts and will ride her again Saturday in the $300,000 Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park.
Rachel Alexandra’s most powerful victory? The Oaks.
“When she won the Oaks, she was right that day, Borel said. “She was just unbelievable. The Preakness, believe me, when she won by a length and a half, we could have gone another round and I don’t think they’d have had a horse get by her. Because I know when they are going to come and eyeball this filly, she will make you choke before you get by her, I can promise you that. You better be ready.”
Borel rates the Preakness as her most impressive victory because she overcame adversity and still beat the boys after setting some serious fractions while going gate to wire.
“The last quarter-mile, when it was time to go with her, she was just doing what she had to do and I think she kind of struggled a little bit because when I pulled her up, that was the first time she was ever exhausted like she was,” Borel said. “I know how she is, and when I got back she was almost like having a little heat stroke, she had trouble, but then I walked her a little while and we put some water on her and she was fine.”
Co-owner Jess Jackson agrees the Preakness might not have been as powerful a victory as the Oaks, but it was more impressive because she won despite not handling the track all that well.
“I think she won that on raw courage and ability, and thank goodness Calvin was on her,” Jackson said.