We’ve been waiting for it all week… or longer. The supposition and conjecture, guessing and opining has been going on for days.
Question: Can a pretty little filly beat big, hunkering stallions going a mile-and-an-eighth in the Woodward Stakes?
Rachel Alexandra—Preakness winner, Super Filly, Horse of the Year—defeated older males today in the Woodward Stakes at Saratoga. You can watch how she did it by going to this page and clicking on the link at the beginning of the article.
No girl has ever won the Woodward Stakes. Ever. It didn’t really look that hard, the way Rachel did it; she got to the front… and stayed there. The end-of-race run by Macho Again was incredible and powerful; but Rachel just… kept… running.
You have to credit Macho for his brilliance; he came from dead last to catch Rachel in the home stretch. You can see in the photo above that he almost got past her. Rachel barely won… by a head? A nose? A cheekbone?!
When she goes against fillies her own age, she runs so far out in front it looks like another race. She can put away boys her own age easily. Older mares? They’re afraid to meet up with her (sorry, Zen). And now, Rachel Alexandra has defeated the most feared competition in horse racing: Older Males. Be they stallion or gelding, they are big, experienced, and on the muscle. They’ve been living on the racetrack for three years or more, hopped up on a diet of hot feed and adrenaline. These are not horses you can take home to mother.
On the ESPN website, they said Rachel’s spectacular win in the Woodward “all but clinched” Horse of the Year honors. “All but clinched?” I’d say she’s clinched.
Another blogger asked what life would be like if Rachel had run in the Kentucky Derby instead of the Kentucky Oaks. We’ll never know, of course, but to see a three-year-old filly defeat older males in a long race… well, that’s somethin’.