Rachel scores powerful victory in Fleur de Lis

Rachel Alexandra is back, romping to a 10 1/2-length victory in the $214,000 Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs against four rivals. She was clocked in 1:48.78 for the 1 1/8 miles over the main track, scoring her fourth victory in seven starts at Churchill.

Here’s what the principles had to say afterward:

Calvin Borel, jockey: “She’s just getting back. You have to give her a chance. She’s a filly and she did the impossible when she was a 3-year-old. I think you’ll see a great future now. She did everything right today. (Trainer) Steve (Asmussen) told me just to run my race and see where we’re at. She showed up today. She felt the same. I just don’t think she was ready before. Steve knows what he’s doing. She showed up today. She was perfect and we couldn’t ask for more.”

Steve Asmussen, trainer: “I’m very proud for everybody involved that she won. We are all grateful that (co-owner) Mr. (Jess) Jackson and (Jackson’s wife) Barbara (Banke) put a Horse of the Year back in training and take all the advice or criticism or whatever, but she is a tremendously sound filly. She’s a machine and she ran a great race today, and hopefully this is a step in the right direction for the rest of the year. It’s an honor to train a horse like her. We will take her back to the barn and there will be a lot of petting her, and peppermints, and loving on her.”

Rachel Alexandra, a 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, has now won 12 of 17 starts with four seconds for earnings of $3,206,730.

Racing’s other big female superstar, Zenyatta, goes for a record 17th consecutive victory in unrestricted races Sunday when she faces seven rivals in the $250,000 Grade 1 Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park. She’s also shooting for an unprecedented third victory in the Vanity.

2 thoughts on “Rachel scores powerful victory in Fleur de Lis

  1. Good for her! She looked good winning and hope to see her do well the rest of the year!

    Now it’s Zenyatta’s turn on Sunday! It would certainly be a shot in the arm to racing to see both these ladies continue to do well this year.

  2. Just watched Rachel’s win and I think that if I were Steve Asmussen, I would have not been pleased with Borel taking Rachel across the heels of the 5 horse before the first turn. That was too damn close and I don’t see any pressing reason he needed to take that risk.

    Otherwise, Rachel looks good!

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