08/10/2010 10:44AM

Life At Ten works for Personal Ensign

Barbara D. Livingston
Life At Ten is expected to be Rachel Alexandra's chief opponent in the Personal Ensign.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Life At Ten, who looms Rachel Alexandra’s toughest hurdle in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign on Aug. 29, worked four furlongs in a modest 51.47 seconds Tuesday morning over a muddy Saratoga main track.

Under exercise rider Patti Barry, Life At Ten went her first quarter in 26.18 seconds and her second quarter in 25.29. She galloped out five furlongs in 1:05.52. The track was harrowed after the break after having been sealed along the inside paths before the break.

Trainer Todd Pletcher said the slow work was a combination of track condition and the mare working alone.

“She can be an extremely good work horse if you need her to be,” Pletcher said. “We’ll pick it and put her in company next time. We still have time for two more works.”

Pletcher also said that Life At Ten had gotten cast in her stall Sunday night, which forced him to postpone the work originally scheduled for Monday. Pletcher said Life At Ten suffered no significant issues from being cast.

Life At Ten will bring a six-race winning streak into the Personal Ensign that includes a victory in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps and the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap, the latter being run at the 1 1/4-mile distance of the Personal Ensign.

Despite those credentials and the fact Rachel Alexandra has yet to run 1 1/4 miles in her career, Pletcher calls it a “tall order” to beat the reigning Horse of the Year.

“She’s done everything right this year so we’ll try it and see,” Pletcher said of Life At Ten. “To me, it’s hard to be overly optimistic that you’re going to beat Rachel Alexandra.”