Co-owner Jess Jackson has repeatedly said the plan for star filly Rachel Alexandra is to establish her as "the champion we think she already is."
Apparently, that will have to be accomplished this season without a trip to racing's year-end championships.
Jackson said Wednesday he is not planning to send the Kentucky Oaks and Preakness Stakes winner to this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 6-7. But he could leave her in training for a 4-year-old campaign.
Jackson has long voiced his distaste for synthetic surfaces — commonly referring to them as "plastic tracks." After watching his two-time horse of the year, Curlin, end his career with a fourth-place finish in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic over the Pro-Ride at Santa Anita, Jackson said, he has no intention of subjecting Rachel Alexandra to the same conditions.
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"I'm absolutely certain (we will not run in the Breeders' Cup) because, if I am going to run her for her 4-year-old year, the Breeders' Cup is not that essential," Jackson said. "I don't want to risk her. I watched what Curlin did and how he struggled. Plastic favors turf horses.
"I want to keep her on a surface she can enjoy. I know she will be safer on a dirt track, and the safety of the horse is the biggest concern I have."
Jackson's comments came during a conference call in advance of Rachel Alexandra's start in the Grade I Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park this Saturday in what will be her first outing since her historic victory in the Preakness on May 16.
Though Jackson was emphatic about his plans to skip this year's event, he said Rachel Alexandra could still have the chance to add a Breeders' Cup triumph to her résumé.
Should Rachel Alexandra remain in training for 2010, Jackson said, his ultimate goal would be that year's Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs.
"I would love for her to be there," Jackson said. "I want to keep her as fit as possible so she does have the opportunity for a 4-year-old campaign."
Jackson was undecided what path Rachel Alexandra would take the remainder of the year, but he mentioned the Grade II Delaware Handicap on July 19 at Delaware Park, the Grade I Coaching Club American Oaks on July 25 at Belmont, the Grade I Alabama Stakes on Aug. 22 at Saratoga, and even another possible showdown against males in the Grade I Travers Stakes on Aug. 29 at Saratoga.
Her most immediate opportunity, however, is the chance to earn her seventh straight triumph and third Grade I score in the 11⁄8-mile Mother Goose.
Only four opponents showed up in the entry box Wednesday to take on Rachel Alexandra with Don't Forget Gil as the only other graded stakes winner in the field.
"The main focus is just to get a good race in her," said Rachel Alexandra's regular rider, Calvin Borel. "It really won't matter (that it's a one-turn race). I'll just place her where she is comfortable. If something does happen, she will overcome it. She's such an athlete. I think she would run on broken glass, that's what kind of horse she is."
Borel said the Preakness was the first time he had seen Rachel Alexandra anywhere close to exhaustion.
But from what the veteran rider has seen from the filly in the mornings, he said he doesn't believe that effort has dulled her awe-inspiring ability.
"She looks so good training at Churchill, she is doing so good right now," Borel said. "We have nothing to prove, but I think she's doing so much better right now."