At 6:20 this afternoon at Monmouth Park in New Jersey, Rachel Alexandra proved without a shadow of a doubt that she is the best 3 year old in the country. While Mine That Bird was finishing a disappointing third in the West Virginia against mediocre competition, Rachel walked home with the lions share of the 1.25 million dollar purse. To do so she vanquished Belmont winner Summer Bird and top 3 year old sprinter Munnings.
And she did it with EASE.
Early in her career you could tell that she was uneasy running from anywhere but the front of the pack. This can cause a horse to spend a little too much too early and let back of the pack closers make a run, like in the Preakness. But those days are gone now. She let Munnings have the lead and was content to follow him around the track until the final turn. When Borel let her go she left Munnings and Summer Bird in the dust. Yet again she was so comfortably in the lead that Borel didn’t ask anything of her for the final 1/16th and she still finished in 1:47 2/5 just 1/5th of a second off the stakes record.
Right now it just isn’t fair. She has won eight in a row against good competition and barely been tested. I was too young for Secretariat and obviously didn’t see Citation and Man O’ War live, but this must be what it was like. What we all need to see now is the battle of the female champions. The only contender out there is almost equally impressive Zenyatta. Rachel’s owner Jess Jackson says he won’t run her in the Breeders Cup because it’s the only way he can protest the proliferation of synthetic surfaces. I can respect that because I also believe that the fake stuff is ruining dirt racing in America. But at some point, on some track, we have to see this race for the ages.
I won’t lie. When it happens……. I’m taking Rachel Alexandra.
Look here to see her usual impressive performance.