Friday, July 02, 2010

The Puzzling Rachel Alexandra Camp

Yesterday, I received via e mail the media advisory statement from the Jess Jackson camp that Rachel Alexandra will be running in the ungraded Lady 's Secret at Monmouth Park. The Monmouth people were kind enough to move the race up a week and also kick up the purse from $150,000 to $400,000.

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 ( 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?


Wubert said...

Money talks

The_Knight_Sky said...

Wouldn't a true championship run be better served by running in an Grade 1 race instead of a ungraded race?


Championships are not won against non-descript opponents in August in what is yet another "meaningless" designated Grade 1 NYRA race.

In a year this deep Rachel must run and win a big race on Breeders Cup Day at Churchill Downs.

The repositioning of The Lady's Secret allows for 5 weeks between races and will likely serve as a springboard to a stakes race at Saratoga. Keep the faith. ;-)

Brigitte said...

If Rachel was at her best would they run her in the Lady's Secret?

Amateurcapper said...


TIZNOW did not rate the HOY after his BC Classic win in '01. Body of work, or lack thereof, was the reason ZENYATTA was denied the HOY last year.

If RACHEL's body of work this year is not representative of a complete campaign, then a Classic win won't/shouldn't be enough.

ljk said...

Last year Rachel had an early campaign and was well out of gas before the BC. I think this year they have a different plan, take things a little easier early and build up to the BC. I believe this race is a prep for something late in the Saratoga meet. I'm guessing the Personal Ensign to see if she wants any part of 10 furlongs. After that, another G1 prep, maybe the Beldame, and then all guns blazing on the big day.

Amateurcapper said...


RACHEL was campaigned for a dirt campaign only...there was never any intention of running in the BC Classic.

So, let me get this straight, it's okay for RACHEL to run a conservative campaign??? I certainly hope you thought the same about ZENYATTA last year.

Oh, by the way, ZENYATTA has NEVER contested an ungraded stakes. RACHEL will be in two in her first four starts this year when she competes in the Lady's Secret.

Also, no way she goes in the Beldame...there's a serious question whether she can get the trip and she won't try it until the big day...that is, IF she even makes it to the BC Classic.

ljk said...

NYRA has eliminated the detention barns. That was one of John Sherrifs excuses about not racing in NY.

I still make it 20-1, but Charlie Hayward should be hustling to get a RA/Zenyatta match up in the Personal Ensign.