The Brock Talk

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rachel Alexandra Toys With Boys In Haskell

Just before the Haskell I liked Summer Bird. I thought Munnings, with his top level speed would get to the lead or race alongside Rachel Alexandra early in the race and perhaps force the other to go a little faster than desired. I thought Papa Clem might make a bid at her at the top of the stretch and Summer Bird or longshot Atomic Rain would run down a weary Rachel Alexandra.

Midway through the $1.25 million Haskell I was feeling pretty good. Munnings raced to the lead, forced Rachel Alexandra and Calvin Borel wide around the first turn and completed the first quarter of a mile in a rapid 22.99 seconds.

As they continued down the backstretch the pace remained swift and although Kent Desormeaux had Summer Bird a little closer than I would have I liked, I still felt confident.

As the three leaders raced into the far turn, I lost all confidence. I saw the hands of Desormeaux on Summer Bird and John Velasquez on Munnings begin to move back and forth. Meanwhile Borel's hands had not moved and Rachel Alexandra had. The boys were being asked to run and falling behind while Rachel was in a gallop and accelerating. In an instant she was pulling away with ease as Summer Bird, Desormeaux, Munnings and Velazquez worked in futulity trying to keep up.

As Rachel Alexandra turned for home alone, Borel twirled his stick in her view and began pumping his hands against her neck. He briefly looked back and asked her to put them away.

Which she did as if only toying with Borel and the rest of the boys on her way to joining Serena's Song as the only two fillies to ever win the prestigious Haskell.

Her final running time for the 1-1/8 mile was 1:47.21, only 1/5 of a second off of the track record set by Majestic Light in 1976 and equalled by Bet Twice in the epic 1987 Haskell over Lost Code and Alysheba.

And Rachel was again in a mere gallop by the time she approached the wire. Just as relaxed as she was in winning the Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park in April, The Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in May, to a certain degree the Preakness two weeks later. Her victory in the Mother Goose at Belmont Park in July was more like a stroll.

We still may not know how good she is.


Tony said...

How could you have possibly thought somebody was going to beat Rachel Alexandra that day?

ReneC said...

Super Filly. She certainly shut up all doubters, including you I'm afraid Brock.

Maddie4361 said...

There is no way Zenyatta can beat this filly.

brad said...

Zenyatta beats Rachel if the field is larger than 6.

Sharp headline..thought it was funny.