Alexandra's Weight Was an Advantage
It was fun to watch the Preakness and see Rachel Alexandra (filly) in her one-length win. However, it didn't prove she was a better horse than Mine That Bird (colt).
The Preakness is 1 plus 3/16 miles (6,270 feet) and Rachel Alexandra had a five-pound weight advantage, or 31,350 foot pounds, for the race.
One unit of horsepower is 33,000 foot pounds/minute. Rachel Alexandra weighs about 1,000 pounds and has a stride of about 21 feet, so she expends about 21,000 foot pounds per stride. She had about a 1.5 stride advantage, so if she had carried the same weight she might have lost by 0.5 length.
Trouble is, we'll never know for sure because these two horses won't rerun at the same weight. It would be nice if they ran at the Belmont and had the same weight. Then we would know if Alexandra is as good as she looks.
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