09/13/2010 3:50PM

Rachel Alexandra sharp in Saratoga drill

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Barbara D. Livingston
Rachel Alexandra, with Dominic Terry up, works five furlongs in 1:00.65 over the Oklahoma training track.

ELMONT, N.Y. – If the connections of Rachel Alexandra were looking for a sign on what to do next, perhaps the reigning Horse of the Year supplied them one with a solid five-furlong workout Monday morning over Saratoga’s Oklahoma training track.

In her first timed work since getting beat one length by Persistently in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign on Aug. 29, Rachel Alexandra went five furlongs in 1:00.65. It was the fastest of six works at the distance. Saratoga clockers caught her first quarter in 25 seconds and three furlongs in 37.20, meaning she got her last quarter in 23.45 seconds. Rachel Alexandra galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.80.

Rachel Alexandra was reunited with Dominic Terry, the filly’s exercise rider during her 3-year-old season and earlier this year before he and trainer Steve Asmussen parted company.

Rachel Alexandra is likely to make her next start in the Grade 1, $350,000 Beldame at Belmont Park on Oct. 2. Owner Jess Jackson and Asmussen have previously stated a desire to space Rachel Alexandra’s races five weeks apart. It is five weeks from the Personal Ensign to the Beldame and five weeks from the Beldame to the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs.

After failing to get the 1 1/4 miles of the Personal Ensign, it is more likely Rachel Alexandra would be pointed to the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic at 1 1/8 miles on Nov. 5, rather than the $5 million Classic against the boys – and perhaps Zenyatta – on Nov. 6.

Attempts to reach Asmussen or assistant trainer Scott Blasi were unsuccessful.

At Belmont Park, the Asmussen-trained Haynesfield worked six furlongs in 1:14.60 over the training track. Belmont clockers caught Haynesfield in fractions of 12.63, 26.68, 39.28, 51.22, meaning he went his last quarter in 23.38 seconds. He galloped out seven furlongs in 1:28.25.

Toby Sheets, Asmussen’s Belmont-based assistant, said he was pleased with the move. Sheets said a final decision on where Haynesfield would run next is uncertain. Sheets wanted to run Haynesfield in the Salute Me Sir Stakes, which was originally scheduled for last Saturday but has not been carded until this Friday.

“It would have been nice if the race went on Saturday when it had the same amount of horses in it,” Sheets said. “It would have been proper spacing for later races in the fall.”

Among the potential next starts for Haynesfield are the Monmouth Cup on Oct. 9 or the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont on Oct. 2.

Mott prepares trio for stakes

Two days after winning the Grade 2 Bowling Green Stakes with Al Khali at Belmont, trainer Bill Mott was back in Saratoga putting a trio of horses through major workouts for upcoming stakes engagements.

Proviso, winner of the Grade 1 Diana, worked six furlongs in 1:12.40 over the Oklahoma turf course, getting her final quarter in 23.20, according to Saratoga clockers. She galloped out seven furlongs in 1:25. Proviso is a candidate for the Grade 1, $400,000 First Lady, a mile turf race run at Keeneland on Oct. 9, or the following day’s Grade 1, $500,000 Spinster, a 1 1/8-mile race over Keeneland’s synthetic surface and a race in which she was disqualified from winning last year.

“Because she’s won a couple of Grade 1’s on the turf at a mile, I’m leaning a little bit toward the First Lady myself,” Mott said. “But that will be worked out with the owner.”

Juddmonte Farm owns Proviso, and Juddmonte is a sponsor of the Spinster.

Courageous Cat, unraced since a ninth-place finish in the Dubai Duty Free in March, worked seven furlongs in 1:27.50 over the Oklahoma turf course. Saratoga clockers caught his final quarter in 23.00.

“He went very well, came home very good, finished up nicely, and galloped out a good strong mile,” Mott said.

Mott wants to run Courageous Cat in the Grade 1, $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland on Oct. 9 as a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill on Nov. 6. Courageous Cat finished second to Goldikova in last year’s BC Mile at Santa Anita.

Unrivaled Belle, who finished second to Malibu Prayer in the Grade 1 Ruffian on Aug. 1, worked five furlongs in 1:01.80 over the Saratoga dirt training track. She got her final quarter in 23.20, according to Saratoga clockers. Unrivaled Belle, who defeated Rachel Alexandra in the La Troienne at Churchill Downs on April 30, is a candidate for the Beldame.

Meanwhile, Mott said Al Khali exited his neck victory over Winchester in the Bowling Green in good order. Mott said Al Khali would be considered for the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational here on Oct. 2 or the $2 million Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine on Oct. 16.

Mott said how Al Khali did in either one of those 1 1/2-mile turf events would likely determine whether Al Khali would be considered a prospect for the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill on Nov. 6.