(Photo : Brock Talk / NY Daily News)
RACHEL ALEXANDRA VS ZENYATTA
One day after finishing second in her seasonal return in the New Orleans Ladies Stakes at the Fair Grounds, Rachel Alexandra (Medaglia d’Oro) was officially confirmed out of the Gr1 Apple Blossom Handicap, which will be contested on 9 April. Her owner Jess Jackson confirmed yesterday that, although the defending Horse of the Year exited the New Orleans Ladies healthy, the four-year-old would not be shipped to Oaklawn Park for a match-up with champion Zenyatta (Street Cry).
“Saturday’s race, while a disappointment, helped us define Rachel Alexandra’s racing condition,” explained Jess Jackson. “While she is healthy, just as I had anticipated, she is not in top form. Therefore, I decided on Sunday that she will not be going to the Apple Blossom on April 9. Steve Asmussen and I discussed this fully and we now regret we tried to accelerate her training in order to meet the Apple Blossom schedule. We have a whole season before us to help define her greatness. She will tell us when her next race will be.”
Responding to Rachel Alexandra’s defection, Zenyatta’s owner Jerry Moss said, “We’re disappointed that we’re not going to be able to face each other in the Apple Blossom. Hopefully, we can meet down the line. We respect both Steve and Mr. Jackson as horsemen, and they’re going to do what’s right for their horse. That’s all anybody could ask for. We’ll go on to the Apple Blossom as planned.”
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News