05/23/2010 11:00PM

Rachel Alexandra picks up the pace


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Rachel Alexandra sped things up a bit with her third straight Monday morning workout at Churchill Downs, going five furlongs in 1:00.40.

With Shaun Bridgmohan aboard at about 6:30 a.m. and over a fast track, the 2009 Horse of the Year went in splits of 12.20, 24.20, 36.20, 48.40, before galloping out six furlongs in 1:12.80 and seven furlongs in 1:26.60, according to Churchill clocker John Nichols.

Rachel Alexandra had gone considerably slower in the two previous works that followed her defeat in the April 30 La Troienne Stakes at Churchill. She went a half-mile in 52 seconds on May 10 and five furlongs in 1:04.20 on May 17.

Trainer Steve Asmussen has maintained that he and majority owner Jess Jackson have not committed Rachel Alexandra to a specific next race, although two June 12 races at 1 1/8 miles at Churchill rank among the logical options. Those are the Grade 1, $600,000 Stephen Foster Handicap, open to both genders, and the Grade 2, $200,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap, restricted to fillies and mares.

Rachel Alexandra won all eight of her starts last year but is winless in both tries at 4. She was second to Zardana in the March 13 New Orleans Ladies at Fair Grounds, then second to Unrivaled Belle in the La Troienne.