05/05/2009 11:00PM

Stonestreet trying to buy Rachel Alexandra


LOUISVILLE, Ky. The Stonestreet Stables of Jess Jackson is interested in purchasing Rachel Alexandra, the sensational winner of the Kentucky Oaks last Friday at Churchill Downs, and was negotiating Wednesday to try to close a deal, according to a source close to the situation.

The possibility of a sale grew on Wednesday morning when Rachel Alexandra vetted out perfectly, according to the source, who cited a confidentiality agreement that precluded speaking on the record.

Kevin McGee, a spokesman and attorney for Jackson, declined to confirm nor deny the possibility of a sale, referring further inquiries to Caroline Shaw, a company spokeswoman who did not respond. Stonestreet is the majority owner of Curlin, the 2007-08 Horse of the Year who was retired to stud last fall.

A transfer of Rachel Alexandra would raise the possibility of the filly being supplemented for a $100,000 fee to the next jewel of the Triple Crown, the May 16 Preakness at Pimlico. The filly was not nominated to the Triple Crown, and her breeder and co-owner, Dolph Morrison, was adamant in the wake of her Oaks victory that she would not be supplemented to the Preakness or June 6 Belmont Stakes.

Owned by the L and M Partners of Morrison and Mike Lauffer and trained by Hal Wiggins, Rachel Alexandra won the 135th Oaks by 20 1/4 lengths, the widest winning margin in the race since 1910, the earliest date for which Churchill has such records. She earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 108 in the Oaks. The 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d Oro has won her last five starts.

Should a deal be struck, Steve Asmussen, who trained Curlin for Jackson, would take over the training of Rachel Alexandra, according to the source. Asmussen said Wednesday afternoon that he had not been told that the filly would be joining his stable.

Meanwhile, Rachel Alexandra made her first appearance on the racetrack since the Oaks when out for a 1 1/4-mile jog early Wednesday under regular exercise rider Rudy Gallegos. Until the possibility of a sale arose, she had been scheduled to train at Churchill until leaving a few days before her next scheduled start, the Grade 1 Acorn on the Belmont Stakes undercard.