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"Rachel" takes up Summer Residence in Saratoga Springs

ELMONT, N.Y. – Scarcely 12 hours after her record-setting victory in Saturday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Mother Goose at Belmont Park, Rachel Alexandra stepped onto a van that carried her up the Northway to Saratoga Race Course, which will be the base for her summer campaign.

“She ran a big race,” said trainer Steve Asmussen of the three-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, who set a stakes record of 1:46.33 for the nine furlongs, along with establishing the largest margin of victory (19¼ lengths) in the 53-year history of the race. “I think (jockey) Calvin (Borel) said it best – she’s not normal.”

Asmussen, still wearing one of the 10,000 pink “Rachel Alexandra” bracelets that were given away on Saturday, said he had watched the replay of the Mother Goose several times, and was still bowled over by the ease of her victory.

“The best way to describe it is that she’s got an extremely high cruising speed,” said Asmussen of the filly, co-owned by Jess Jackson’s Stonestreet Stable and Harold McCormick. “But obviously, we’ve known that about her for a long time.”

Rachel Alexandra, who extended her record to 9-2-0 from 12 starts with earnings of $1,798,354, arrived at Saratoga mid-morning and took up residence in Curlin’s former stall in Asmussen’s barn near the Oklahoma training track.

“She shipped great,” said assistant trainer Scott Blasi, who accompanied Rachel Alexandra to Saratoga. “She’s settled into Curlin’s old stall, which is now her stall, right next to my office.

“She recovered very well,” added Blasi. “She seemed strong yesterday and was starving when we fed her last night, and ate everything this morning, as well.”

Several possibilities exist for Rachel Alexandra’s next start, including the Grade 1, $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks for three-year-old fillies at 1¼ miles at Belmont Park on July 25, the Grade 2, $500,000 Jim Dandy for three-year-olds at nine furlongs at Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 1, and the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Invitational, also for three-year-olds, at Monmouth Park on Aug. 2.

Following one of those, the scenario could next include the Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama Stakes for three-year-old fillies at 1¼ miles on Saturday, Aug. 22, the $1 million Shadwell Travers for three-year-olds going 1¼ miles on Saturday, Aug. 29 at Saratoga Race Course, or even the Grade 1, $400,000 Personal Ensign for fillies and mares, three-years-old and up, going 1 1/4 miles on Sunday, Aug. 30.

Asmussen declined to engage in any speculations.

“I’m well-versed in that with the Curlin-Big Brown thing last year,” he said. “I’m just going to worry about her health and happiness, and then we’ll sit down and decide what’s best for her.”

 

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