06/06/2010 11:00PM

'Very smooth' work for Rachel Alexandra


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - As the racing world awaits word where she will run Saturday, Rachel Alexandra went through her final prerace workout Monday morning at Churchill Downs, breezing a half-mile in 49.20 seconds over a fast track.

Trainer Steve Asmussen said immediately afterward that he is waiting for instructions from Jess Jackson, the majority owner of Rachel Alexandra, as to where the 2009 Horse of the Year will race Saturday. Jackson announced last week that four races are possible, although the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park and the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill seem the most plausible options.

Asmussen declined to comment on the decision-making process that will determine where Rachel Alexandra will run Saturday, other than to say a decision was imminent because entries will be taken Wednesday for both the Ogden Phipps and Fleur de Lis.

Jackson's wife, Barbara Banke, was among a handful of observers with connections to Jackson who were on hand early Monday to watch the workout. With Shaun Bridgmohan breaking her off nearing the half-mile pole, Rachel Alexandra went in splits of 12.60 and 25 before galloping out five furlongs in 1:02.80, according to Churchill clocker John Nichols. It was the fifth straight Monday workout for the 4-year-old filly since she finished second in the April 30 La Troienne Stakes at Churchill.

"She looked pretty, she looked good," said Asmussen. "Very smooth. That's what we were looking for, something nice and smooth like that."

Rachel Alexandra won all eight starts last year to earn Horse of the Year honors but is winless this year in both tries at 4. She was second to Zardana in the March 13 New Orleans Ladies at Fair Grounds, then second to Unrivaled Belle in the La Troienne.