04/23/2010 11:00PM

Rachel confirmed for Friday's La Troienne


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The worst-kept secret in racing was finally revealed on Saturday afternoon when Jess Jackson, the majority owner of 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, confirmed to Churchill Downs officials that Rachel Alexandra would run on Friday in the Grade 2, $400,000 La Troienne Stakes, part of the Kentucky Oaks undercard.

"Right now we're pointing there," Jackson said. "We'd like it to be. Her workout Monday will tell us a lot more. It'll be light; it's not going to be a bullet. We want to see that she stays on track and improves every time she goes out and that's what's been happening the last two or three times. She's getting ready."

Rachel Alexandra has raced just once this year, in last month's New Orleans Ladies Handicap at Fair Grounds. She finished second to Zardana, and the next day Jackson said Rachel Alexandra would not face Zenyatta in hoped-for showdown in the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park.

Zardana is expected to run in the La Troienne, along with the speedy filly Careless Jewel, who would be making her first start of the year.

The La Troienne, formerly known as the Louisville Stakes, is a 1 1/16-mile race for older fillies and mares. On the same card last year, Rachel Alexandra won the Kentucky Oaks by 20 1/4 lengths.

"She's happy at Churchill," Jackson said. "Lexington is her home, but Churchill is her favorite track and she's surely giving us every sign of being ready to run. She's going to need another race before she really defines herself the way she did early last year but I think she's 85 percent to 90, maybe 95, right now."

Rachel Alexandra has won 11 times in 15 races.

Rachel Alexandra, trained by Steve Asmussen, galloped early Saturday morning with exercise rider Dominic Terry aboard.