08/16/2010 6:35AM

Saratoga: Rachel works on main track


Reigning Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra visited Saratoga's main track Monday morning, working six furlongs in 1:13.20 in preparation for her start in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Handicap here on Aug. 29.

 The work was conducted over a fast main track, despite heavhy rains having fallen on Sunday night.

 Under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, Rachel Alexandra entered the main track at the quarter pole and was accompanied to the wire by assistant trainer Scott Blasi aboard the stable pony. Blasi turned Rachel loose just before the finish line and she jumped right into the game, pulling at Bridgmohan who was trying to restrain her.

 Bridgmohan had a strong hold of the reins as Rachel Alexandra broke off and went her first eighth in 12.80 seconds. She continued on through a quarter in 24.88, three furlongs in 36.68, four furlongs in 49.07 and with Bridgmohan rousing her just a little in the stretch, Rachel Alexandra got her final quarter in 24.13 seconds over a track where most horses weren't finishing well.

 After she crossed the finish line, Rachel Alexandra was far from done. She galloped out seven furlongs in 1:25.63, a mile in 1:39.15 and pulled up 1 1/8 miles in 1:54.09.

 Though Rachel Alexandra will have one more work before the Personal Ensign, this was her major breeze for the race.

 By working Rachel Alexandra on the main track 12 days before a race, trainer Steve Asmussen followed the same pattern he used with Curlin before the 2008 Woodward and Rachel before the 2009 Woodward.