The Brock Talk

Monday, June 29, 2009

What's Next For Rachel And Zenyatta

Now that both Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta (photo at left) have apparently come out of their Saturday victories in good health, all eyes are turning to their next starts and the possible match-up between the two.

From his barn at Hollywood Park on Sunday, Zenyatta's trainer John Sherriffs said the $300,000 Clement Hirsh Stakes at Del Mar will likely be the next stop for the 2008 Champion and undefeated mare. The Clement Hirsh is at a 1-1/16 miles for fillies and mares on August 9.

No plans have been made following the Clement Hirsh for Zenyatta although her owner Jerry Moss said on XM radio Saturday that he is keeping options open to shipping Zenyatta to New York where she could possibly meet Rachel Alexandra.

As possible match-up between the two great mares in the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic at Santa Anita in early November is apparently out of the question for Rachel Alexandra's controlling owner Jess Jackson, who said last week that he will not race the filly on a synthetic racing surface which eliminates the Breeders' Cup

Meanwhile, trainer Steve Asmussen sent Rachel Alexandra to his barn at Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York where she will be based this summer. No plans have been made for her next race but apparent possibilities include the $1 million Delaware Handicap for older fillies and mares at Delaware Park on July 19 and the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks against 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park July 26. She may also return to take on her male counterparts in the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park August 2.

Others being pointed to the Haskell for now include Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird and possibly Florida Derby winner and one-time Kentucky Derby favorite Quality Road.

In his first workout since finishing third in the Belmont Stakes, Mine That Bird went an easy half-mile in :51 at Churchill Downs on Monday morning in preparation for his next start in the Aug. 1 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort. Jockey Calvin Borel was aboard for the breeze.

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