Filly out, Borel to ride Bird in Belmont

May 30, 2009 1:21 AM
Staff & Wire Reports |

Rachel Alexandra out for Belmont, clearing way for Calvin Borel to return to Mine That Bird

Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra will not run in the Belmont Stakes, opening the way for jockey Calvin Borel to return to Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird in his quest for a personal Triple Crown.

Jess Jackson, Rachel Alexandra's co-owner, said Friday the spectacular filly "deserves a well-earned vacation."

Rachel Alexandra had been set to work out Monday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, and no announcement was expected until after that. But Jackson explained the filly simply needed a rest after running — and winning — four graded stakes races since March 14, including a dominating victory in the Kentucky Oaks.

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"We know the media and many fans would have liked to see her run in the Belmont Stakes — we feel the same," Jackson said in a statement. "But all of us sincerely interested in the horse must agree that we only want to see her run when it is best for her. While she is in great shape, having strong works, and recovering well from her amazing performances, we feel Rachel deserves a well-earned vacation."

Borel was the mount for both Mine That Bird in the Derby and Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness and Oaks. He was set to ride her again in the Belmont, but Mine That Bird's trainer Chip Woolley had said he was prepared to wait — even into next week — if there was a chance Borel could become available again.

Mine That Board will work out Monday morning, with Borel aboard.

There was no immediate indication from Jackson on when or where Rachel Alexandra might race next.

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