PATRICIA SMITH: Alexander Clips the Birds' Wings
Rachel Alexandra gave the "bird" to the 2009 boys of summer in the Haskell Invitational, winning by six lengths on a sloppy track.
The filly has clipped the wings of two birds.
Rachel Alexandra defeated the Kentucky Derby Mind That Bird in the Preakness Stakes and last weekend she defeated Belmont winner Summer Bird in the Haskell Invitational held at Monmouth Park in New Jersey.
Rachel Alexandra not only beat Summer Bird in the Haskell, she also outran five other accomplished colts in a time of 1 minute 47.21 seconds, just two-fifths of a second off the track record. Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra is now 2 for zero against the boys.
It's a Cinderella story just when we could use one.
For a few weeks of summer 2009, we can put aside the doping stories (German Dressage rider Isabell Werth, Norwegian show jumper Tony Andr Hansen and endurance riders Dubai's Sheikh Mohammed and his son) that headline equestrian news almost every week.
As you watch Rachel Alexandra demolish the competition, a fog is temporarily settling over the images of racehorses breaking down in races in their efforts to win.
It almost makes you want to proclaim, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." (Francis Pharcellus Church's famous editorial.)
People are getting caught up in Rachelmania. I was so excited Monday that I wanted to find a candy store that had pink cigars to pass out to all my friends.
I must have told everyone I met that day that Rachel did it -- she won the Haskell.
Rachel Alexandra is the daughter of Medaglia d'Oro. I first laid eyes on her father at the Saratoga Race Track in Saratoga, N.Y. in 2002. Medaglia d'Oro won the Travers that year.
By the time this article goes to print we may know where Rachel plans to rev her turbo jets next.
After the Haskell, talk centered around possibly running her in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga August 29 or the Woodward Stakes September 5.
I'll be close to Saratoga August 29 so I could make the Travers.
I'm considering going AWOL if they decide to wait and run her Sept. 5.
It would be coming full circle to see Medaglia d'Oro's daughter race at
Furthermore, I wouldn't mind capturing a photograph of Calvin Borel aboard Rachel Alexandra.
I think that Hoofbeats should branch out and start covering Saratoga in August. Like the saying goes, Saratoga is the August place to be.
Patricia Smith can be reached at email@example.com.
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