Although my new favorite filly of all time, Rachel Alexandra, easily won her third Stakes race in a row in last Saturday's $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks, her time was finally eclipsed by her male counterparts as Friesan Fire stopped the clock 10/100ths of a second faster a few races later. However, an asterisk could be placed next to her finishing time since jockey Calvin Borel was more interested pointing to his homies in the grandstand in the last furlong than guiding Rachel to the wire. It nearly cost him as longshot Flying Spur and Patrick Valenzuela stormed through the stretch to get within 2 lengths of "throttled down" Rachel at the finish line. Not only do I admire Rachel for her take no prisoners running style after seeing her twice, but she also sparked a decent trifecta ticket (for a chalk favorite, anyway) for me with the long-shot running second, so now I'm a resolute fan. By the way, thanks also to Macho Again in the New Orleans Handicap I've hit exotics paying over $100 on my last two track visits in 2009, so this may FINALLY be my year!
Co-owner and breeder Dolphus Morrison then added more rain on the New Orleans parade of those hoping for Rachel to jump on the Triple Crown trail. "No, no, no, no," he said, as he labeled the performance "awesome." "We have too good a filly to risk her future in a 20-horse field of brutal, man-macho colts," said Morrison. "It's not where she needs to be. If we could win the Kentucky Oaks, it would be a wonderful thing." You have to admire the humility and sensible nature of Morrison, who clearly wants to do right by his pride and joy. Not to mention the East vs. West showdown the Kentucky Oaks would create against Juvenile Fillies champion and IEAH Stables "star" purchase, Stardom Bound. By the way, if you're curious about Rachel Alexandra's name, it comes form Morrison's eldest grand-daughter, who is probably the most famous kid in pre-school these days.