Woodward Preview: Rachel Alexandra Expected To Extend Streak

J PanchinaContributor ISeptember 3, 2009

BALTIMORE - MAY 16:  Jockey Calvin Borel riding Rachel Alexandra wins the 134th Running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 16, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
This Saturday’s Grade I Woodward Stakes from Saratoga Race Course could be the highlight in the midst of a somewhat laid back meet at The Spa.
While there wasn't any horse to get too excited about in last week’s Grade I Travers Stakes, the real super horse (or should I say super filly) of the year, Rachel Alexandra, is entered in this week's Woodward.

This very well may be her toughest challenge yet. Rachel Alexandra, the three-year-old filly, will be facing older males, ranging from four to six years old, this weekend. To compensate for the gender difference, Rachel Alexandra will only be carrying 118 pounds compared to the 126 pounds the rest of the field will be toting.

Rachel Alexandra is on an eight race winning streak and it does not appear that her tear will end this weekend. The 1 1/8 mile distance seems to suite her, winning her last three races at that distance. She also posted an outstanding Beyer Speed Figure of 116 in her last race, the Grade I Haskell Invitational. 

These are all indications that she should perform pretty well this weekend.

Rachel Alexandra’s connections of trainer Steve Asmussen and owner Jess Jackson have hinted at giving the filly a much-needed three or four month break after the Woodward, possibly making this her last race of the year. So if you’re looking to catch a last glimpse of the filly this year, be sure to tune into the Woodward Stakes this Saturday.

Other horses worth watching are Bullsbay and Macho Again, starting from post positions two and five, respectively. Bullsbay won the Grade I Whitney Handicap on August 8th, which is also run at Saratoga at 1 1/8 miles. Macho Again also ran in the Whitney, finishing second to Bullsbay by one and a half lengths.

These horses will give the filly a run for her money, but I’m predicting Rachel Alexandra’s streak will extend to nine straight wins.