Will they race? | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Will they race?

Posted By on Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 6:44 AM

The NY Times reports at some length today about the ballyhooed $5 million fillies' race set for Oaklawn Park. The question: Will it happen?

It is a question that haunts horseplayers and casual horse lovers alike as the days count down to the showdown April 9. It even makes Rachel Alexandra’s co-owner Jess Jackson anxious.

His superb filly is making her way back to the racetrack after six months off. While her training may have been painstakingly planned, it has been hampered by heavy rains in New Orleans, where she is stabled.

Jackson has questions about Rachel Alexandra’s fitness, which he gauged at “about 85 percent” of where she should be now. He is also trying to manage expectations for her coming 4-year-old campaign.

One thing that he guaranteed was that if his filly was not dead-solid perfect in the days leading to the Apple Blossom, she would not run.

“We are targeting the Apple Blossom,” he said. “We are stretching to get there. But if we’re not in top shape, we’re not going.”

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