Stonestreet Stable and Harold McCormick’s Rachel Alexandra turned in a sizzling six-furlong workout on Monday at Churchill Downs as the reigning Horse of the Year displayed increasing sharpness as she nears a return to competition.
Trainer Steve Asmussen’s 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro covered the distance over a fast track in 1:11.40 shortly after 6 a.m. (EDT). She worked in fractional times of :12.40, :24.40, :36.40, :48 and :59.40 under Dominic Terry and the champion galloped out seven furlongs in 1:24.1. The work was the fastest of seven at the distance.
It was her Rachel Alexandra’s third work since her return to Churchill Downs and her second consecutive move at six furlongs. Last Monday she breezed that distance in :1:12 and galloped out seven furlongs in 1:25.20. She had breezed five furlongs in 1:00.20 a week earlier.
“She worked crazy good,” said Asmussen. “She’s had three works here since she’s been here and they have been extremely ‘Rachelesque.’ I’m happy to see her putting in work like she did last year.”
There is still no decision on the race that will mark Rachel Alexandra’s return to competition. She has competed only once since a victory over males last fall in the Woodward (GI) at Saratoga – the first win by a female of any age in that prestigious race. She was defeated in her only start this year when she was upset by Zardana in a runner-up finish in the $200,000 New Orleans Ladies at Fair Grounds on March 13.