Monday, May 11, 2009

NOW IT’S GETTING INTERESTING…

Super filly Rachel Alexandra who won the Kentucky Oaks by 20.25 lengths last out is headed to Baltimore for the Preakness and her regular rider, Calvin Borel, is getting off the Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird to ride her in the middle jewel of racing’s Triple Crown.

And then it got complicated…

Rachel Alexandra, who would be sent off as the favorite for the Baltimore classic, is not nominated to the Triple Crown, but her owners are more than willing to put up the $100,000 supplemental entry fee. However, the field is restricted to 14 starters and the horses pre-entered in the Triple Crown have preference when entries are taken later this week.

Enter Mark Allen, the co-owner of Mine That Bird who has been a controversial character on more than one occasion (including the bribery case of a U.S. Senator from Alaska), he now intends to enter a pre-entered horse to block Rachel Alexandra’s attempt to run for the Black-Eyed Susans.

Allen considered entering Indy Express solely to take away a starting spot from Rachel Alexandra.Allen said his motives were professional, not personal as jockey Calvin Borel, who guided the 50-1 long shot gelding to a stunning 6¾-length win in the Run for the Roses, has already agreed to pilot Rachel Alexandra for the rest of the year.

"I just want my rider back," Allen (right) told The Thoroughbred Times on Sunday.

But, Mine That Bird trainer Bennie “Chip” Woolley Jr. told The Associated Press late Sunday evening that Allen had changed his mind."He's rethought it and with the best interest of racing and the sport, he feels like it would be unfair to do that and she's going to run," Woolley said.

Allen wasn't the only one having second thoughts.Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas planned to enter a second colt, Luv Gov, in addition to Flying Private, who finished last in the Kentucky Derby.

Luv Gov is owned by Marylou Whitney, who also owned and bred Birdstone, sire of Mine That Bird. Whitney's husband John Hendrickson told several outlets on Sunday that Luv Gov will not stand in the way of Rachel Alexandra's bid to run in the Preakness.

And, now it’s OK.

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