04/18/2010 11:00PM

Rachel fires off fast work


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Rachel Alexandra blazed through another Churchill Downs workout early Monday morning, going six furlongs in 1:11.22 over a fast track. Trainer Steve Asmussen once again declined to commit the superstar filly to a specific upcoming race.

With regular exercise rider Dominic Terry aboard, and according to Daily Racing Form clocker Mike Welsch, Rachel Alexandra went in splits of 12.56, 24.28, 36.16, 47.67, and 59.29 seconds before galloping out seven furlongs in 1:24.41 and a mile in 1:37.76.

Conditions were ideal when she went in cool weather just before dawn, at about 6:25 a.m. A glib track was illuminated by every third light pole under a new Churchill training protocol that went into effect Saturday.

"She worked fabulous," said Asmussen, who watched from the third-floor clubhouse. "The racetrack obviously was playing very quick this morning."

Rachel Alexandra, voted the 2009 Horse of the Year after an 8-for-8 season, has raced once this year, finishing second to Zardana as the 1-20 favorite in the New Orleans Ladies at Fair Grounds on March 13. That stunning defeat prompted Asmussen and Jess Jackson, the 4-year-old filly's majority owner, from running her back against Zenyatta in the April 9 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park.

Asmussen was asked Monday when and where he intends to run Rachel Alexandra next and whether that race might be the Grade 2, $400,000 La Troienne Stakes on the April 30 Kentucky Oaks undercard at Churchill, as has been widely speculated. He threw his head in the air and laughed.

Her next race "is pending," he said. "Right now we've got her back on her once-a-week work schedule. We're still just looking to get her back to where she was. Her three works here at Churchill have been very impressive."

Rachel Alexandra worked twice at Fair Grounds following her loss in the New Orleans Ladies and now has worked three times at Churchill since arriving March 30. She posted five-furlong breezes here April 5 and 12.