08/09/2010 8:25AM

Rachel Alexandra comes home quick in six-furlong work

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Barbara D. Livingston
Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan guides Rachel Alexandra through a six-furlong work in 1:12.96 on Monday morning at the Oklahoma training track in Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Twelve hours after watching the fastest colt in his barn win a Grade 1 stakes, trainer Steve Asmussen watched the fastest filly in his care continue preparations for a start in an upcoming Grade 1 race.

Rachel Alexandra, the reigning Horse of the Year, zipped through a six-furlong workout in 1:12.96 Monday morning over the Oklahoma training track. Rachel Alexandra is preparing for a start in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Stakes here on Aug. 29.

Coming on the track just before 6 a.m. with Shaun Bridgmohan aboard, Rachel Alexandra was accompanied by a stable pony as she went off the right way, or counterclockwise, as opposed to backing up the wrong way as she often does. Scott Blasi, the assistant trainer who was aboard the pony, turned Rachel loose at the top of the stretch and the frisky filly was aggressive as she galloped through the lane in front of a surprisingly small group of onlookers that included Asmussen’s mother, wife, and children.

Rachel Alexandra broke off at the six-furlong pole and went her first eighth in 12.79 seconds, according to Daily Racing Form. She continued on through splits of 25.46, 37.98, and 49.77, and she came home her last quarter in 23.19 seconds. She galloped out six furlongs in 1:26.04 and pulled up a mile in 1:40.35.

“I do want her to come like that,” said Asmussen, who on Sunday won the Grade 1 Alfred Vanderbilt with Majesticperfection. “I think that’s going to be key.”

Monday’s move was the second of four workouts Rachel Alexandra will have between her victory in the Lady’s Secret Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 24 and the Personal Ensign. On Aug. 2, she worked five furlongs in 1:02.38.

“I’m pleased with how well she came out of the Monmouth race, how she trained that week, the work last week, it’s just a progression,” Asmussen said. “She’s done really well up here. I’m expecting two more moves before the Personal Ensign. Hopefully the weather will cooperate as much as it has to this point. It’s time to pick it up. We’re trying to get this to climax in November.”

Asmussen also worked a pair of 2-year-old colts for upcoming stakes engagements. Kantharos, the Bashford Manor winner, went four furlongs in 49.16 seconds in company with the maiden Medal Round. Kantharos is pointing to the Saratoga Special on Aug. 16.

Wine Police, an impressive debut winner here earlier in the meet, worked five furlongs in 1:02.15 in company with Malibu Cougar. Wine Police is pointing to the Grade 1 Hopeful on Sept. 6.