02/15/2013 6:49PM

Rachel Alexandra's condition remains serious on Friday

Courtesy Stonestreet Farm via Twitter
Rachel Alexandra gets a mint from owner Barbara Banke of Stonestreet Farm at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital Friday, Feb. 15. The mare is recovering from surgery related to foaling complications.

The condition of 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra "remains serious," but her attitude improved on Friday as the mare continues to recover at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky. from surgery earlier this week related to foaling complications.

“She looks better today,” owner Barbara Banke of Stonestreet Farm said Friday. “Rachel is a determined fighter. It makes me feel better that she was happy to have a mint. I want to thank all her fans for their incredible devotion to Rachel. Your thoughts mean so much right now.”

Rachel Alexandra began showing signs of distress late Wednesday afternoon after delivering her second foal, a Bernardini filly, early on Tuesday. She was rushed to Rood and Riddle, where exploratory abdominal surgery revealed a damaged area in her small colon, injured during foaling, which led to a bacterial infection. Surgeons removed the damaged section of the small colon and successfully re-attached the two remaining ends. The surgery has been described as "long and technically demanding."

Rachel Alexandra's vital signs were normal on Friday, and the mare was "brighter, more alert, and demonstrating an improved attitude," according to a statement released by Banke’s Stonestreet Farms.

Dr. Brett Woodie and Dr. Bonnie Barr, attending veterinarians on the case at Rood and Riddle, were pleased with Rachel Alexandra's progress according to Stonestreet’s release, with Barr calling her a "strong mare."

On Thursday, Woodie would not offer a long-term prognosis for Rachel Alexandra’s recovery. The veterinarians added that it was also too early speculate about whether the mare's broodmare career is over.

Rachel Alexandra's post-operative care includes intravenous antibiotics, fluids, and nutrition, along with anti-inflammatory drugs and medications to aid in the prevention of scar tissue in the abdominal cavity. She also continued to have lavages through drains placed into her abdominal cavity in an attempt to flush out bacteria and inflammatory cells.

Rachel Alexandra's Bernardini filly returned to Stonestreet on Wednesday. The filly was placed under the care of a nurse mare and continues to remain in good health. The mare and foal enjoyed paddock turnout on Friday at Stonestreet.

Rachel Alexandra produced her first foal, a colt by two-time Horse of the Year Curlin now named Jess's Dream, in January 2012. Days following that birth, the mare made what was termed a "precautionary" trip to Rood and Riddle for pain management. The mare and colt returned home following a three-day stay at the facility. Woodie said the mare's problems with the two births are likely not related.

Rachel Alexandra, a 7-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, is the only starter out of the stakes-winning Roar mare Lotta Kim.

A year after the 2006 birth of Rachel Alexandra, her first foal, Lotta Kim produced an Empire Maker colt named Empire Ruler. The colt died as a 2-year-old due to wobbler's syndrome. Lotta Kim, who at one point battled an infection, did not produce another surviving foal until the birth of a full sister to Rachel Alexandra in 2011. The filly, named Samantha Nicole, was purchased for $700,000 by Stonestreet at the 2012 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

Woodie said Rachel Alexandra's two troubled foalings are not indicative of any hereditary problems.

"I don't think [that] factors in," he said of Lotta Kim's produce record. 

Chad Wilson More than 1 year ago
praying for a speedy recovery
Cindi Garringer More than 1 year ago
What a good girl you are Rachel. Please continue to improve and recover.
deborah More than 1 year ago
I am very glad that well-trained professionals will be the ones who are controlling rachels future as a broodmare, not irrational, hysterical fans (short for fanatics, dontchaknow) who are shrilly calling for her to be pensioned. Rachel is exactly the type of horse we want more of, not less. People want to think every danger can be avoided, every risk can be evaded. Rachel could just as easily pull a danehill, a st. Liam. Hope she gets well soon, and is able to have a future as a new mumtaz mahal.
Maxine Seddio More than 1 year ago
Get well soon Rachael,no more foals,give her a rest. After Secretariat,Seattle Slew i have to put Rachaels performance as a three old,mind you as a three year old not a career,as the third best three year old ever.including all the triple crown winners before her.She beat her own sex,three year old colts in the classics and took on older grade 1 males up at the spa and beat them..She deserved horse of the year and got it. She provided outside interest into our game like no other.
deborah More than 1 year ago
You might want to read up on other 3 yos before anoointing her 3rd best ever. But then,you have slew 2nd, much as i like him, he doesnt belong either. The calls never to breed her again are absurd. If she had a paddock accident would you want her stall bound forever? If she tied up in her stall, what would you recommend? If one of your kids had a car wreck, would you ban them from driving for the rest of their life?
Ceil Rock More than 1 year ago
Better than Holy Bull? Florida Derby, Blue Grass, Met Mile, Dwyer, Haskell, Travers and Woodward. Better than Spectacular Bid?? Florida Derby, Flamingo, Blue Grass, Ky Derby, Preakness, Marlboro Cup, Jockey Club Gold Cup. Rachel was a very good filly, but no Holy Bull or Spectacular Bid.
HotShotMaggie More than 1 year ago
Good Morning, Rachel is a tough and strong horse - My thoughts and prayers go with her and all the team at Stonestreet and the equine clinic.. So juch hang in there Rachel.. Maggie
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
Obviously Rachel's broodmare career is over. Give her a healthy retirement now please!!!
deborah More than 1 year ago
It is? And shes already having as healthy a retirement as she can.
Tammy Taylor More than 1 year ago
I love you Rachel A. hope you feel well soon. Hey listen owner stop breeding her you got two health ones now let her enjoy the rest of her retirement Enough is enough greed kills!! She deserves that much she made you plenty. I pray she makes it. Chapion she is for SURE!!
Steve Cochran More than 1 year ago
I think this has something to do with genies?
Robin Moore More than 1 year ago
You could be right about her genetics. Who knows. And I know that she is worth a lot of money, and for the need to breed her for it, BUT, is the money really worth her health and life. Is the money worth keep breeding her for it. Her being worth a lot of money should really mean, that if Rachel is having health issues with foaling, then retiring her from the breeding shed early would be the best thing for her. We got two foals out of her, that's enough. Can't wait to watch both of them race in the future. So, hopefully the owners would be wise and retire her from the breeding shed now, while they know that she has problems foaling.
deborah More than 1 year ago
Yeah, its genies. Someone should quit rubbing that lamp. And since breeding is so dangerous, all mares should be pensioned immediately. Stop racing as well. Gimme a break. If she heals fine and the vets give the all clear, breed away. Good thing you guys didnt own toussaud. I wonder how many of her brilliant offspring wouldnt be here if you had any say.
Marilyn Braudrick More than 1 year ago
Rachel Alexandra is a national treasure. Our prayers are entirely with her. We prayed just as desperately FOR Paynter - he is a champion and a fighter--and we are delivering as much for her- may we all be rewarded again --May she be blessed- She is a champion and a fighter as well-- may she win and have a long rest--she deserves it.
B More than 1 year ago
I'm amazed at how upsetting I find this to be. I admired her greatly on the racetrack and she deserved it. Her three year old season is among the very best for a filly ever, but I didn't realize just how much I cared about her.
Carol Seaver More than 1 year ago
How about providing context to your headline. What mare could not be in 'serious' condition after yesterday. Please encourage all to focus on a positive outcome and discard the drama.
deborah More than 1 year ago
They are using the term the vets used. Or would you rather they lied and sugarcoated it? By the way, what headline they use won't affect rachel.
August Sams More than 1 year ago
Deborah, For some reason fans like to hear things sugar coated and "lie" about to make themselves feel better, they don't care about the reality, which is most important in the veterinary/medical field. She has not passed the necessary landmarks to signify recovery yet.
August Sams More than 1 year ago
Dear Carol, The medical world does not deal in drama it deals with the reality of her condition, how long it takes to recover from such a condition, as the days go on. At time time she is in serious condition as there is not enough time for the area to heal or be treated.
August Sams More than 1 year ago
Dear Carol, The medical/veterinary world does not deal with postiive outcomes when the time frame and treatment are not indicative of changing her condition. The mare is still gravely ill and could pass at any time, that is what the condition is telling you, she is not stable by any means.