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Like Val, I believe that this year’s thrilling Preakness result was the best the sport could have possibly hoped for; even before the race, I had colleagues and friends who otherwise never notice racing asking me about ‘the filly and the Derby horse’ – and even asking me to take money to Pimlico to bet on Rachel Alexandra for them.

I am still very glad I had the good fortune (for that’s certainly all it was at the time) to bet an Oaks/Derby exacta and was ecstatic about the outcome of the race, not just for Rachel Alexandra and the vindicated Mine That Bird, but also for hard-knocking Musket Man who finished third again (and rewarded me with a second show bet on him). While the Belmont distance is clearly not his cup of tea, he should be very interesting to watch later in the season – the Haskell is his next probable start.

Whether Rachel Alexandra and Mine That Bird will meet again in the Belmont remains to be seen (and while I definitely want a rematch, I’d be equally content to wait for the Travers if that’s a better spot for both – I think the Belmont is going to be a great race even if only one of them is there), but there has been no shortage of drama in the jockey department for Mine That Bird. Mike Smith has a prior commitment in California on Belmont day, and it’s possible Calvin Borel will get the mount back on Mine That Bird if Rachel Alexandra bypasses the race. There’s much speculation in the Twitterverse that perhaps the vacancy might be reclaimed by his previous jockey, Chantal Sutherland – Animal Planet would certainly be pleased about that.

And in case you were wondering why Mike Smith is skipping a classic to run in the Whittingham, Green But Game has it right – he’s keeping a good relationship going with Team Zenyatta. Speaking of Zenyatta, she fired off a reminder to everyone that she’s ready to roll, working a bullet on Preakness eve. She is aiming to be the first repeat winner of the Milady since Azeri (who foaled a Ghostzapper filly on Sunday) – and one hopes we will see her take on Rachel Alexandra down the line. I hope Zenyatta goes against the boys at some point as well – she would be well-matched against another big, dark horse like Einstein, but the sight of her next to little Mine That Bird would be a treat unto itself.

It’s still a long way away at this point, but we already have all the ingredients for a fantastic Breeders’ Cup – let’s hope everyone stays happy, healthy and in training.

1 comment to Possibilities

  • Rob

    Zenyatta versus Rachel Alexander needs to happen twice, once in the Breeders’ Cup and once in New York, perhaps in the Beldame. Rachel Alexandra’s legacy is secure. Zenyatta needs to come east or face the boys. Beating the same four or five overmatched mares in the Milady and the Vanity is uninspiring. Jess Jackson was sporting enough to take Curlin to California, time for the Moss’s to bring Zenyatta to the city that never sleeps. Ron McAnally took Bayakoa east for the Spinster and the Ruffian.

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