2009 Woodward Results, Recap and Payouts
by Kenneth Strong of Predictem.com
Rachel Alexandra wins Woodward at Saratoga the hard way with head victory over Macho Again
September 5, 2009 Rachel Alexandra won the Woodward at Saratoga on Saturday and in the process earned herself a special place among the best thoroughbred racehorses of all time. Once again, she did it the hard way.
That included dumping jockey Calvin Borel in the post parade prior to getting to the starting gate. But getting remounted was the easy part. In the actual race her older male rivals double teamed her early and came hard at her late and they still couldnt beat her.
The courageous 3-year-old filly dueled early outside 2008 Belmont Stakes winner Da Tara, getting the first quarter in a quick 22.85 seconds. She gradually edged away from that rival to take a length lead after a half mile in a good 46.41 but was almost immediately pressured by last years Woodward runner-up Past the Point, who took his best run at Rachel from the outside through six furlongs in 1:10.54, but by the time they got to the top of the stretch he was completely done. Rachel Alexandra had been rating nicely through all of this and actually took a short but clear lead into the stretch. She never did get the luxury of a breather however, as the ralliers were already in full flight.
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The first to take his shot at her was Whitney Handicap winner Bullsbay, who came surging between horses to get to Rachel Alexandras flank in early stretch. Borel went to the right-handed whip. One light tap followed by quick snap of the whip and Rachel knew it was go time. Bullsbay was giving it everything he had. Borel went to the left-handed whip. Five more times the champion filly felt it and every time she gave Borel something more. They got the mile in 1:35.48 and Stephen Foster winner Macho Again joined the fray in full flight outside of Bullsbay. By mid stretch Macho Again had started to edge away from Bullsbay and it was clear the filly was going to have to dig deep to hold on.
Borel went to the right handed-whip. Whap! Whap! Whap! Whap! Macho Again was lapped on her. Whap! Whap! Whap! Whap! Rachel responded to hold a length advantage. Whap! Whap! Whap! Macho Again was lapped on her again with 150 yards left to go and gaining with every stride. Whap! Whap! Whap! Wire.
She made it.
At the finish it was Rachel Alexandra by about 18 inches in a race for the ages. Bullsbay easily held third, 1 -lengths behind Macho Again. It was a further 8 -lengths back to multi-millionaire Grade 2 stakes winner Asiatic Boy, who had been in striking position outside throughout but who failed to make a serious rally, flattening out to finish fourth. Lone Star Park Handicap winner Its a Bird made a mild move on the final turn before tiring to finish fifth. Past the Point faded to finish sixth. Cool Coal Man, who had been in good position inside throughout, faded from late in the final turn to finish seventh and early dueler Da Tara was eventually eased.
The final time for the 1 1/8-miles over the fast dirt strip was 1:48.29 and backers were rewarded with $2.60 $2.40 $2.10 across the board for betting on - as it turned out - a very deserving favorite. Owned by Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick and trained by Steve Asmussen, Rachel Alexandra was winning her ninth straight stakes race and fourth straight Grade 1 race in the Woodward. A perfect 8-for-8 in 2009, Rachel Alexandras lifetime earnings now stand at $2,948,134 from a record of 11-2-0 in 14 starts.
The lithe bay filly by Medaglia dOro-Lotta Kim by Roar was given a 109 Beyer Speed Figure for her performance, which certainly cant be measured in cold hard numbers. Not a chance. And any doubts about Rachel Alexandras quality or place among the greatest 3-year-old fillies of all time have been answered. Rachel Alexandra should be voted the 2009 Horse of the Year.
And its not just because she became the first female (and first 3-year-old filly) to win the Woodward in its 56 year existence and put her name on the trophy alongside some of the best thoroughbred racehorses of all time including Damascus, Buckpasser, Forego, Kelso, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid and Cigar; or because she was beating up on males in a Grade 1 race for the second time; or because she earlier became the first filly in 85 years to win the Preakness; or the fact that she was a perfect 8-for-8 this year. It’s because of the way she did it.
With unquestionable heart.
2009 Woodward Results and Payoffs
Race 10, Saratoga Racecourse, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2009
3 Rachel Alexandra $2.60 $2.40 $2.10
4 Macho Again $3.80 $2.80
2 Bullsbay $4.00
$2 Exactor 3-4 paid $12.20
$2 Trifecta 3-4-2 paid $36.80
$2 Pick 3 12-1-3 paid $236.50
$2 Daily Double 1-3 paid $14.40