Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

It’s No Secret: Rachel Is Back

Posted by Brian Appleton on July 21, 2010

Tuscan Evening and Paddy O’Prado pretty much stole the show this past weekend with powerful performances that prove they are two of the best turf horses in the nation. Life At Ten also showcased her incredible talent to run her win streak to 6 consecutive races in the Delaware Handicap, both she and Tuscan Evening are undefeated this year but Tuscan Evening’s 6 consecutive wins coming strictly in graded stakes races, ranging vastly in distance, trumps all others.

Paddy O’Prado has his sights set squarely on winning an Eclipse Award after decisively winning yet another turf race in the Virginia Derby (gr.2). He has becoming the sophomore turf monster this year and with Gio Ponti finally back on the winning track it looks like the male turf division is at the mercy of this pair for the rest of the year. If and when they meet on the track it will be one exciting race.

Reigning Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra returns Saturday in Monmouth Park’s Lady’s Secret Stakes to try and reaffirm her position as one of the leading older females in the country. After getting back to her winning ways in the form of a 10 ½ length romp in last month’s Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr.2) at Churchill Downs, Rachel Alexandra returns to the site of one of her most emphatic victories from 2009 to try and conjure up some more of the old magic.

After losing the first two stars of her 2010 campaign by less than a combined length, Rachel Alexandra destroyed the Fleur de Lis field with offhanded ease. It was a race that got the Rachel fans heralding the return of the champ to form, and others still doubting that she was her old self after beating a supposedly weak field. Even with the impressive margin and hand ride to the wire some people remained unconvinced of her return.

I believed emphatically that she was back as did many others and a few weeks back that sentiment seemed to be one step closer to being confirmed. On July 10th, Jessica Is Back entered the Princess Rooney Handicap (gr.1) off a third place effort to Rachel Alexandra in the Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr.2). She exited the race as an official Grade 1 winner and helped kill the idea that Rachel’s Fleur de Lis was filled with nobodies and weak fillies unable to win a graded stakes race between them.

Don’t miss the race on Saturday, whether she wins or not Rachel Alexandra is always worth watching. I for one believe and hope that she pulls off another big win that sets her up for a terrific summer campaign. Let the queen roll!

Before I finish I would like to thank all of my faithful readers and followers who have supported and encouraged me to keep going with my blog. On Tuesday Rail Runner passed 15,000 views! I have only been up and running for 9 months and it is all thanks to you. I would also like to send a very heartfelt thank you out to Kevin Stafford from The Aspiring Horse Player who kept telling me I needed to start my own blog. You were right Kevin, thank you. This has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life so far and I look forward to many more years of the same. Thank you!

Now, in closing I have to share a quick story and a photo to go along. Monday the 19th was my 22nd Birthday and over the weekend I had two close friends, James and Sarah (siblings), over to visit. Over the last few years I have done my best to indoctrinate them, mostly trying to convert them to Curlin lovers but also adding some Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra influence in there since last year. For my birthday last year I received a beautiful Curlin mug with a shot of his 2008 Stephen Foster win from them. This year their creativity hit in and, well…you can see for yourself.

Thank you Sarah and James for the laughs and for always know how to incorporate Curlin into things no matter how strange or wacky it may seem! (:

I was Curlin's exercise rider for a day!?


6 Responses to “It’s No Secret: Rachel Is Back”

  1. Rachel said

    Happy belated birthday! I just turned 22 myself (in June). My family members and friends aren’t horse racing savy, but a few weeks ago my mom saw the trailer for Secretarait and the first words out of her mouth where “Do you want to see it?” Somewhat of a funny story.

    • Thanks Rachel, same to you! Not many of my friends and family are “racing savy” either but most of them know what I’m talking about now after so many years of me talking non-stop about racing.
      I’m looking forward to seeing Secretariat, the preview actually looked pretty good. So long as they don’t twist the facts and stray too far away from what really happened I’ll be happy! 🙂

  2. Steve M. said

    Happy Birthday Brian! Great milestone on the blog; i always enjoy reading your posts, keep up the good work.

  3. I missed this one. Oh how time flies.

    The summer’s half-over but “Happy Birthday !!” 😀

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