The subject of tracks increasing purses and offering other incentives to attract stars is the big topic of the day at the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance home page (www.tbablogs.com). Check it out throughout the day for various takes on the subject.
Didn't see this one coming, but I can only imagine the reaction by NYRA, as it was hoped Rachel would be running in the $250,00 Grade 1 Ruffian on August 1 at Saratoga.
NYRA President Charles Hayward had this to say:
"We are puzzled and disappointed that Rachel Alexandra, who performed so well at Saratoga last year, is passing up the Grade 1 Ruffian to run in a non-graded race at Monmouth over the same distance"
Puzzled is right.
What really struck me as weird was this statement from Jackson in the media advisory release:
“We had a great experience at Monmouth Park and we appreciate the overwhelming show of support the fans there have given us."
No doubt the Haskell victory by Rachel at Monmouth last year was well appreciated by the fans who came out, but no less appreciative were the 31,171 fans in attendance roaring Rachel down the stretch at the Spa during last years Woodward Stakes.
Said Jess Jackson about running in the Lady's Secret at Monmouth:
"It’s the perfect place to start what we hope will be another championship run.”Maybe I am missing something here. What championship run exactly? Wouldn't a true championship run be better served by running in an Grade 1 race instead of a ungraded race?