Scratch the match race with Zenyatta. 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra was retired yesterday after several disappointing starts as a 4-year old.
Since she never returned to her top form, owner Jess Jackson should be commended for retiring her now, without injury, and letting her move on to the next stage of her career as broodmare. Rachel Alexandra will be bred to Curlin, the 2007 and 2008 Horse of the Year, at Jackson’s Stonestreet Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. Jackson also owns a majority stake in Curlin.
Although Rachel Alexandra only won two out of five races this year, she should be remembered for her spectacular form last year where she won 8/8 races including wins against the “boys” in the Preakness, the Haskell Invitational and the Woodward Stakes. Overall she has won 13/19 starts and earned more than $3.4 million. Perhaps more importantly, she (and Zenyatta) have re-invigorated horse racing, drawing in millions of viewers. Who can forget Calvin Borel crossing the finish line at the Preakness? His enthusiasm for the filly was contagious.
To celebrate Rachel Alexandra’s career, Jess Jackson (who also owns the Kendall-Jackson winery) has created a Pinot Noir named after her. Let’s all raise a glass of it to her ’12 foal!
Some highlights of Rachel Alexandra’s career can be found in this YouTube playlist. Or, just watch the Preakness below.