Monday, August 03, 2009

Jersey Girl! Rachel Alexandra Doesn't Mind Getting Her Feet Wet As She Scorches the Colts in the Haskell

In Kentucky, they play "My Old Kentucky Home" before the Derby. Before the Preakness in Baltimore, it's "Maryland, My Maryland." The Belmont swings to the tune of "New York, New York."

And when Rachel Alexandra stepped out on the Monmouth Park racetrack on the Jersey Shore today, what song did they play to introduce the field of the $1.25 million Haskell Invitational?

Think about it.

Sure enough. Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run". If that song couldn't get a filly in the mood to fly, what song could? And off she went, toying two or three wide until midway around the turn for home and then whooosssh.

If you enlarge this photo, or go to YouTube and watch the race, you will see that this filly is so particular about her feet that jockey Calvin Borel finished the race with pretty much a clean set of silks. The same cannot be said of the other jockeys.

It was a miserable day with driving rain, lightning, flooding, and (unfortunately), horses down in the early races. I wondered if they wouldn't just load Rachel up and take her home to Saratoga but the weather improved and Rachel gave everyone something to talk about about.

She'll always have a soft spot for Springsteen now. And he'll be in Saratoga to play a concert the week of her (probably, hopefully) next start, the Travers Stakes on August 29.

Thanks to Sarah K. Andrew for this stunning capture of the finish line, where no one but Rachel was in sight.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much, Fran! It was a spectacular performance on New Jersey's biggest day of racing and I was honored to chronicle it.

The photo is also published in USA Today :^)

Sarah Andrew