Cowboy's Horse an Early Favorite for Belmont Stakes
By VICTORIA HEUER
June 5, 2009
The "Run for the Carnations" has finally arrived, and Saturday, June 6 will mark the final leg of the Triple Crown -- also known as the Belmont Stakes. The long anticipated announcement of whether Rachel Alexandra, the filly that won the Preakness Stakes on May 16, would run in the Belmont was finally made known this week when one of her owners, Jess Jackson, said that she would not be entered, but would be taking a "well-earned vacation" before racing again.
This is a disappointment for many fans of the impressive Rachel Alexandra, who was the first filly to take home the Preakness Stakes win in 85 years. But Rachel Alexandra has had a busy year, racing in four graded stakes races since March -- and winning them all. Jackson said Rachel Alexandra may be running in the Mother Goose Stakes on June 27, a race for fillies that is also held at Belmont Racetrack. In the meantime, Rachel Alexandra is relaxing and enjoying the limelight, with an upcoming spread in Vogue magazine.
With Rachel Alexandra out of the running for the Belmont, the door is wide open for Mine That Bird to take the win. Jackson personally made the call to Mine That Bird's trainer, Chip Woolley, so that he could secure Calvin Borel as Mine That Bird's rider. Borel, the jockey that was aboard Rachel Alexandra for the Preakness win and would have ridden her again for the Belmont, had she been entered, will be taking Mine That Bird through the Belmont Stakes on June 6. Borel was also the rider for the win at the Kentucky Derby on May 2, when the then unknown Mine That Bird blew the competition away with a 6 ¾ length victory, the widest margin since 1946, when Assault took the win by an eight length margin.
Although the addition of Rachel Alexandra in the Belmont would have heightened the excitement of the run, this is still shaping up to be an especially electrifying year in horse racing. With Borel taking the win in two legs of the Triple Crown, on two different horses -- a filly like none that has been seen in decades, and a relatively unknown cowboy's horse -- this third and final race in the Triple Crown series, known as "The Test of Champions" for its challenging 1.5 mile track, will enthrall horse racing fans across the country.
Also entered to run in the 2009 Belmont Stakes:
Post 1 - Chocolate Candy
Post 2 - Dunkirk
Post 3 - Mr. Hot Stuff
Post 4 - Summer Bird
Post 5 - Luv Gov
Post 6 - Charitable Man
Post 7 - Mine That Bird
Post 8 - Flying Private
Post 9 - Miner's Escape
Post 10 - Brave Victory