Monday, November 23, 2009

10: Rachel Alexandra in the Haskell

That's Rachel in the Haskell above. It was one of my favorite races because it really solidified her as the best three year old. The Preakness was very nice, but the track was quirky and Mine That Bird seemed to be gaining on her. But that's as close as any three year old would get, and Mine That Bird would go on to show the curve of his form climbed perfectly with the Triple Crown, but would faulter thereafter. There's an excellent photo from the turn in the Preakness that shows the boys in an all-out scrum behind Rachel. It's like a yearbook photo, it seemed to encapsulate the Triple Crown Trail better than any other image. I'll post it later.

At the ten spot is Rachel in the Haskell making it clear she is dominant in her age division. Watching her legs unfurl before her in the New Jersey mud was a thing of beauty.


  1. The reason why Rachel Alexandra allowed Mine That Bird to make a race of it was that Mr. Asmussen had done much with her in the short time after the sale.

    They gave Curlin ample rest allowing him to develop before his first start off the transfer.
    But in the Preakness they had no such luxury coming off the Kentucky Oaks romp.

  2. Good point TKS. The Haskell was the fruition of team Jack/Ass. Though I thought Wiggins had done well in preparing her for the Oaks, which was also amazing. Another great photo of her in focus and these blurry specks behind. Hard not to think about Jack Nicklaus staring at the TV with tears in his eyes at Secretariet's dominant Belmont -- the tears were about Secretariet's will, to which all his competitors were irrelevant. He sought perfection. Sure that's getting a little superlative, but we got at least a glimpse of it.

    I'm willing to give Mine That Bird a little more credit. He wasn't exactly coming in off a soft win. I'd like to think both equine athletes made their trainers only bit players. The big difference is that Rachel's dominance was never compromised by form cycle, track conditions, or pace.