LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Maybe the boys got lucky.
Rachel Alexandra rolled to victory in the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks
on Friday, crushing the field by 20¼ lengths and perhaps stamping
herself as the best 3-year-old horse in the country, male or
With jockey Calvin Borel up, Rachel Alexandra stalked Gabby's
Golden Gal along the backstretch then easily moved to the front
with little urging from Borel. She poured it on in the stretch,
widening the gap as 100,000 spectators roared with every stride of
her eye-popping victory in the filly version of the Kentucky Derby.
Borel blew a kiss and tapped her on the neck as they crossed the
finish line for her fifth straight win, all by convincing margins.
Stone Legacy was second, with Flying Spur third.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas joked during the week that maybe his
three entries - Stone Legacy, Be Fair and Tweeter - would have a
better chance against Rachel Alexandra if they decided to turn the
1 1/8 mile Oaks into a relay race while the bay filly went it
That probably wouldn't have worked, either.
Rachel Alexandra broke quickly to the front then tucked in
behind Gabby's Golden Gal. She loped along behind trainer Bob
Baffert's horse down the backstretch before Borel nudged her to the
outside as they entered the far turn. A couple of quick strides put
her in front and she simply took off while Borel sat in the irons
and enjoyed the ride.
"She's unbelievable, one of the best fillies I've ever been on
in my life," Borel said. "I've never been on a horse like this."
The win was so dominant it did little to quell speculation that
she could more than hold her own against the boys in Saturday's Run
for the Roses.
Owner Dolphus Morrison never really considered entering his star
in the Derby, saying fillies should run against fillies.
None of the Derby owners is complaining.
Justwhistledixie appeared to have the best shot at pulling the
upset, but was scratched hours before the race due to a hot spot in
her left front foot.
The decision sent Rachel Alexandra off as the overwhelming 1-5
favorite. She covered the distance in 1:48.87 and was well into her
gallop out before the rest of the field hit the line.