JC / Railbird

Jess Jackson

Rachel Alexandra Wines

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Rachel Alexandra Wines, debuting this holiday season” (via @EJXD2). Just in time for a month of parties … and for sending to Eclipse Awards voters.

‘Rachel’ Round-Up

Early Wednesday evening, news broke that Jess Jackson and partners had bought Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra, with a plan to race the filly, then breed her to Curlin at the end of her racing career. Terms were not disclosed, but rumor pegged the purchase price at $10 million (news reports at $3 to $4 million) and a source close to the deal said ‘Rachel’ could move to trainer Steve Asmussen’s barn on Thursday. (Asmussen said he had heard nothing about a possible transfer.) The possibility that the filly, pointing to the Acorn in five weeks following her scintillating rout last Friday, could start in the Preakness instead was raised, with confirmation that someone from Stonestreet called the Maryland Jockey Club to inquire about supplementing into the race. Should she run at Pimlico, jockey Calvin Borel would be faced with an unusual, difficult decision, choosing between riding the Derby or the Oaks winner in the second leg of the Triple Crown. But Jackson hinted that the Belmont was more likely:

“It fits her history, and I’ve always appreciated how fans in New York are so appreciative of great racing,” said Jackson.

Trainer Hal Wiggins, who scored his first G1 win in a 40-year career with the Oaks, was disappointed, but gracious at hearing the sale was final:

“We hate it but we all feel blessed to have had her through the Oaks and we will always have those memories with our family and friends,” Wiggins said.

Fan reaction was swift. An open letter was hastily typed: Please, don’t break up the team. And a debate began on Twitter over how best to plot a Horse of the Year campaign for the 3-year-old super filly:

“OK, maybe not the Haskell. How about Travers, JCGC, and a BC race (beating the boys or Zenyatta)? That’s a HOY campaign.”

#Belmont and BC Classic would do it, yes. Just the BC Classic would probably do it. Einstein and Well Armed aren’t pushovers.”

She needs to win a classic for HotY. The Haskell won’t get it done with Zenyatta and Forever Together looming.”

“Acorn or #Belmont works for me; agree JCGC and the rest are on the agenda. Skip the #Preakness.”

“Take the Filly Triple Crown, then the JCGC, then the BC … wouldn’t meet Zenyatta … or would she?”

“I would point toward the tiara with a jcgc / classic double. The Belmont has a history of spending horses.”

All exciting possibilities. Now, I’m starting to feel a little energized …

After →