04/04/2010 11:00PM

Rachel Alexandra has first Churchill workout


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Rachel Alexandra had her first workout since returning to Churchill Downs when she breezed five furlongs early Monday with regular exercise rider Dominic Terry aboard.

With trainer Steve Asmussen watching frontside at about 6:30 a.m., before daylight broke, Rachel Alexandra went the distance in 1:00.20 over a fast track. Because of the darkness, no splits were available, although the Churchill clockers caught her galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.

"It was an ideal work for her," said Asmussen.

Rachel Alexandra, the 2009 Horse of the Year, departed Churchill in late November and spent the winter at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, where she raced once, finishing second to Zardana as a 1-20 favorite in the New Orleans Ladies on March 13. That unexpected defeat persuaded Asmussen and Jess Jackson, the 4-year-old filly's majority owner, to decline to run her back against Zenyatta on Friday in the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park.

After the New Orleans Ladies, Rachel Alexandra worked twice at the Fair Grounds, including last Monday, March 29, before leaving for Churchill, where she has been stabled since March 30 under the care of assistant Scott Blasi.

"It looks like she's been real happy since she's been here," said Asmussen. "Dominic said she feels super and that she's getting over the track great."

Asmussen, who arrived in Louisville on Sunday evening after spending the Easter holiday with his wife and three sons at their home near Dallas, said he and Jackson are not committed to running Rachel Alexandra in the La Troienne Stakes on the April 30 Kentucky Oaks undercard. Reports have been widespread that she will run in that Grade 2, $400,000 race at 1 1/16 miles.

"I'm going to keep working her every Monday," he said. "We're just going to worry about getting her back to where she was, and nothing else. I'm not going to concern myself about where and when she runs next."