02/18/2013 5:08PM

Rachel Alexandra remains stable Monday

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Courtesy of Stonestreet Farm
Rachel Alexandra is hand-fed by Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital's Brent Comer in her stall at the clinic on Monday.

Although the condition of 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra remained "serious but stable" on Monday as she continues her recovery from surgery for foaling complications, veterinarians at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., were encouraged by the mare's progress.

"If she wasn’t as smart and as strong-willed as she is, she wouldn't be progressing the way she is," said Dr. Bonnie Barr, an attending veterinarian on the case.

Rachel Alexandra began showing signs of distress on the afternoon of Feb. 13 after delivering a Bernardini filly, her second foal, early the day prior at Stonestreet Farm in Lexington. Exploratory abdominal surgery revealed a damaged area in the mare's small colon, injured during foaling, which led to a bacterial infection. Surgeons removed the damaged section of the small colon and successfully reattached the two remaining ends.

No long-term prognosis has yet been discussed by veterinarians, but the 7-year-old Medaglia d'Oro mare has remained stable in the days following her surgery, demonstrating an improved attitude in recent days.

Rachel Alexandra went for a short walk outside at Rood and Riddle on Monday, a mild February day in Lexington, with the temperature in the 50s. The mare also was able to hand-graze briefly.

Rachel Alexandra had begun receiving small amounts of solid feed on Saturday, in addition to intravenous fluids and nutrients.

"Her appetite continues to improve and attending veterinarians Dr. Bonnie Barr and Dr. Brett Woodie remained encouraged by her progress through the weekend," Stonestreet said in a release.

Rachel Alexandra's post-operative care has included intravenous antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and medications to aid in the prevention of scar tissue in the abdominal cavity.

Rachel Alexandra's Bernardini filly, who is in good health, is under the care of a nurse mare at Stonestreet Farm.