Friday, May 8, 2009

Rachel In Preakness, Borel Bails on Derby Winner

The new owner of Rachel Alexandra, Jess Jackson, said today that Stonestreet Stables will pay the $100,000 fee to supplement the 20 length winner of the Kentucky Oaks into next Saturday's Preakness where she will face colts for the first time. Jackson also announced that her regular rider, Calvin Borel, will be aboard "Rachel" in the Preakness as well as the rest of her races in 2009.

In accepting the mount on Rachel Alexandra jockey Calvin Borel, who rode her to victory in the Kentucky Oaks and the next day guided Mine That Bird to a stunning win at 50/1 in the Kentucky Derby, will become the first jockey to ever win the Derby and then take off that horse to ride a different horse in the Preakness. Borel said "I have no choice, she is the best horse I have ever ridden."

Mine That Bird's trainer, Chip Woolley, said he understands the decision by Borel and he has talked with several jockeys about picking up the mount. However, he will wait to name a replacement until Rachel Alexandra actually passes the entry box for the race.

The field for the 134th Preakness is starting to take shape. In addition to Mine That Bird and Rachel Alexandra, other confirmed starters for the Preakness include, Musket Man (3rd in the Derby), Papa Clem (4th in the Derby), General Quarters (10th in the Derby), Flying Private (19th in the Derby), Big Drama (2nd in the Swale Stakes), Hull (winner of the Derby Trial), Take The Points (4th in the Santa Anita Derby) and Terrain (4th in the Blue Grass).

Derby starters, Pioneerof The Nile (2nd in the Derby) and Fresian Fire (18th in the Derby) are currently listed as probable Preakness starters. Two horses listed as possible starters are Conservative (2nd in the Lexington Stakes) and Tone It Down (3rd in the Tesio Stakes). These two are the only horses listed here who are not currently at Pimlico or have a scheduled arrival date.