Friday, April 30, 2010
Rachel Loses Again!
Rachel Alexandra, the heavy 1/9 favorite, lost today to Unrivaled Belle. In typical style, Rachel went to the front, then settled in right off of the pace, then shot to the front and tried to pull away. Unrivaled Belle caught her, and they dueled down the lane. Rachel's rival got her head in front at the wire.
I cheered. Sorry. I know that will upset a lot of you. But it's not like Rachel is injured (heaven forbid, and I would NEVER cheer about a loss caused by that). Rather, I think she's just not got her 3 year-old form. It happens. Now that she's facing older horses, she's not as good.
She had a great 3 year-old campaign. That campaign did win her Horse of the Year. Yet, I will always be disappointed that Rachel didn't come out to Santa Anita to meet Zenyatta in the Breeder's Cup. It's also clear that had Rachel met Zenyatta in the Apple Blossom on dirt this year, she would have lost. She did have an excuse, though, after the long layoff. Today she had no excuse. If she were the same Rachel Alexandra, Unrivaled Belle would not have caught her. Period.
People are already speculating that Jess Jackson will retire Rachel to be bred (to Curlin--won't we love to see how those babies do!) But my thoughts today are that Jackson's not about to put Rachel up against the mighty Zenyatta (pictured) this year. No way.
In my world, Zenyatta's the better overall horse. She's raced for three years now and remains undefeated. She's won on dirt and synthetic. She's beat fillies, mares, and colts. Rachel was, well, dare I say it? She was last year's flash in the pan. A good horse (heck, I've got two Tom Chapman paintings of her and the new Breyer model of her), but just not quite as good as Zenyatta.