07/19/2010 3:44PM

Rachel Alexandra gets final drill for Lady's Secret

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Barbara D. Livingston
Rachel Alexandra drills at Saratoga, going a half-mile in 49.60 seconds.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – In her final workout for Saturday’s Lady’s Secret at Monmouth Park, Rachel Alexandra breezed a half-mile in 49.60 seconds Monday morning on the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga.

With assistant trainer Scott Blasi alongside on his gray pony, Rachel Alexandra came onto the track beneath Shaun Bridgmohan shortly before 6 a.m. The 2009 Horse of the Year was clearly feeling energized by the relative coolness compared to recent mornings and was a study in controlled aggression as she galloped toward the half-mile pole.

Her fractions were 12.58 seconds for the first eighth-mile and 25.01 for the first quarter. She galloped out five furlongs in 1:03.52, according to Saratoga clockers.

“She’s had three moves here, and things have gone as smoothly as we were hoping for,” trainer Steve Asmussen said. “She looked great on the track, just appeared to be nice, loose, and happy, and I thought she moved very well. She had a lot of energy and looked confident.”

Asmussen said he would speak to majority owner Jess Jackson later in the day regarding when Rachel Alexandra would ship to Monmouth, where she earned a career-best 116 Beyer Speed Figure in a six-length Haskell win over eventual 3-year-old champion Summer Bird last summer.

When asked about the possibility of a start at Saratoga, a likely spot being the Personal Ensign at 10 furlongs on Aug. 29, Asmussen called it, “a strong possibility,” saying, “Right now, we worry about timing more than anything and we’re looking at two or three possibilities off of [the Lady’s Secret]. I think she is doing really well right now, and we’re hoping it culminates at the end of the year.”

Also working for Asmussen on Monday was the unbeaten 2-year-old Kantharos, who breezed five furlongs in 1:02.45.

Purchased in March for $250,000 by Jackson’s Stonestreet Stable, Kantharos romped in two starts at Churchill Downs, including a win in the Bashford Manor by more than nine lengths.

“He ran brilliantly,” Asmussen said.

Asmussen said he is looking at three spots for Kantharos, all at Saratoga: the Sanford (July 25), Saratoga Special (Aug. 16), and Hopeful (Sept. 6).