Jess Jackson, co-owner of the fabulous filly Rachel Alexandra, was on today’s NTRA conference call with reporters and covered a wide range of topics concerning Rachel, including:
— Her schedule for the rest of 2009 is up in the air after Saturday’s Woodward Stakes at Saratoga, a race in which she’ll try to become the first female to win the prestigious race. Jackson said there’s a possibility she could run in the Beldame Stakes at Belmont on Oct. 3 if Zenyatta’s camp commits to the race, an event that will be worth $1 million if both Zenyatta and Rachel enter the starting gate. He also left open the possibility of her meeting Zenyatta after the Breeders’ Cup. He said she also could be finished for 2009 after the Woodward. In other words, nothing is for certain and, as always, the filly’s health and well being are the No. 1 concern.
— Jackson doesn’t want to discuss yet where Rachel fits in as far as the all-time top distaffers, preferring to wait until her career is over. But he did say he believes she’s proven to be Ruffian’s equal. Of course, if she continues to perform like she has, fillies and mares will be compared to her 30 years down the road.
— There’s a good chance that, if she stays healthy, Rachel Alexandra will race on the grass sometime during her 4-year-old campaign. Interestingly, Jackson did not rule out the Dubai World Cup next year, even though the track is changing to a Tapeta artificial surface and he’s voiced his displeasure with synthetics many times, calling them “plastic tracks.” He said it could be a possibility if he’s convinced the tracks are not as harrmful as he perceives them to be.