Port Vila, Vanuatu (PressExposure) May 17, 2009 -- Rachel Alexandra, made history as the phenomenal 3-year-old horse, was the first filly to win the $1.1 million dollar Preakness Stakes, at Pimilco, USA, since 1924. The twelve male rivals in the field had no choice but to eat her dust, in spite of her stumbling as she was leaving the gate.
"The race took a lot out of her". said, Calvin Borel. He was seen to waggle his right index finger, to signal their No.1 status, as he raced past the finish line.
The Preakness followed Rachel Alexandra's spectacular win only two weeks before at the Kentucky Oaks, where she put up the greatest performance seen in the last 20 years, with a 20Â¼ lengths lead over her rival fillies. Rachel Alexandra had already beaten up on her own gender, winning her previous five races in a combined 43 1/2 lengths. She now looks good to contest the coveted Horse of the Year title.
It is well known that fillies often beat colts in the fall, but do not do so well in the spring and summer. However, Rachel Alexandra is now being feted as possibly being the best 3-year-old in the world. Race-goers crowded ten deep, snapping shots of the fabulous filly as she strode towards the starting gate.
"The win puts her right up there with some special company", said Steve Asmussen, her trainer.
Hall of Fame trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, said he had expected Rachel Alexandra to be the horse to watch at the Preakness Stakes. "She'll be the horse who could deliver solid television ratings for a sport that is struggling".
In Europe it is quite common to see fillies race against males. However in the United States there are many same-sex lucrative races, that few fillies ever venture into the male domain. Eight Belles, was the last filly to challenge her male counterparts, when she came second, in the 2007 Kentucky Derby. Sadly though she had to be put down on the track, when she broke legs as she crossed the finish line.
Owners of Rachel Alexandra (when she won the Kentucky Oaks), held firmly to the belief that a filly should not run against males. Fortunately, the new owners, Jess Jackson, founder of Kendall-Jackson winery and Harold McCormick, have no such restrictions to their thinking. They ponied-up the $100,000, that bought Rachel Alexandra a place in the Preakness Stakes and their gamble paid off. Jackson is known for being more interested in racing his champion thoroughbreds, rather than rushing them off to the breeding shed.