A field of eight three-year-olds fillies line up on Saturday at Fair Grounds in the $300,000 Rachel Alexandra (G2) going 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
The race serves as a Road to the Kentucky Oaks points race, with 50-20-10-5 points up for grabs. The race is one of six stakes on Saturday at the New Orleans track. The feature is the $400,000 Risen Star (G2) which is the first Road to the Kentucky Derby points race this season to offer up 50 points to the victor.
Charlie’s Penny (9-2) will scratch after being diagnosed with a hairline fracture of the shin.
The Brad Cox trained Travel Column is the 2-1 morning line favorite for the Rachel Alexandra. The filly makes her first start since winning the Golden Rod (G2) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 28.
The filly has worked sharply in the mornings, keeping company with Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) champion Essential Quality.
“She worked in tandem with Essentially Quality and has worked with him a lot and it’s worked out well, they both get plenty out of it,” Cox said. “She holds her own and for her to be able to do it with the Two-Year-Old Champion colt says a lot. She gets you excited for sure.”
Golden Rod Replay
Florent Geroux will get a leg up and break from the eight post. The daughter of Frosted is out of the stakes winner Swingit.
Steve Asmussen will seek his sixth win in this race when he sends out Golden Rod runner up Clairere (5-2). She was beaten a length in her last start by Travel Column.
“She’s a very good, lightly-raced filly with a huge pedigree,” Asmussen. “It’s the right spot to start her back and we’re really looking forward to it. But obviously we have our eye down the road (towards the Kentucky Oaks) with her too.”
Silverbulletday runner up Souper Sensational (8-1) and the Tom Amoss duo of Zoom Up (6-1) and Littlestitious (12-1) look like players in this race as well.
Souper Sensational is going to get the call at decent odds. She makes her second start on dirt for trainer Mark Casse.
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Let’s head out to Fair Grounds for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Fair Grounds Race 12 The Rachel Alexandra G2 5:47 CT
2 Souper Sensational 8-1
8 Travel Column 2-1
1 Clairiere 5-2
6 Zoom Up 6-1
The Casse trainee was a solid second in the Silverbulletday last out over the main track here. The trip was her first on conventional dirt and first going two turns. She was away last in the six-horse field, under a hold while caught in tight quarters while down along the inside on the first turn, came five wide into the stretch and finished up well, beaten 3 ½ lengths by Charlies Penny, who opened up heading for home. Our top pick broke her maiden in her debut on the Tapeta at Woodbine and then won the Glorious Song in her stakes debut going seven furlongs in a sharp effort. She beat Charlie’s Penny that day and the runner up was Javanica who came back to run second in the Jimmy Durante (G3) at Del Mar and then was the runner up in the Blue Northern at Santa Anita in her most recent start. This gal is bred to go long, by Curlin out of an Indian Charlie mare. A cleaner trip makes her a threat here and the 8-1 morning line looks more than fair.
This filly is coming in off a victory in the Golden Rod (G2) last out at Churchill Downs and makes her three-year-old debut. She was not away cleanly in that outing, last in the early going and she came with a good late rally to win by a length and earn the top last out speed fig. Four runners have come out of that race to run back including Coach who ran second in the Martha Washington at Oaklawn Park and Lady Traveler who was second in the Forward Gal (G3) at Gulfstream Park. Three of the four exiting that race actually had their Beyers go down next out. The Cox trainee broke her maiden in her debut at six furlongs and then was third in the Alcibiades (G1) in her first route. She has worked smartly since her last outing but may end up a light price. She was a $850,000 purchase, by Frosted out of the stakes winner Swingit ($345,343) who was 6 for 16, all her wins coming on turf.
This gal ran second in the Golden Rod last out, beaten a length for the top spot. She was bumped coming out of the gate, saved ground while near the back of the pack early, came with a good four wide move to take over the lead but was run down late. She broke her maiden two back going two turns at Churchill Downs, sent off at 7-2. The third and fourth place finishers in that maiden race were next out grads. The third-place finisher Will’s Secret then won the Martha Washington at Oaklawn Park. Asmussen has won this race five times, the most recent being last year with Finite. Solid works over the main track here and a nice pedigree. She is by Curlin out of the multiple G1 stakes winner Cavorting ($2 million). She looks capable of moving forward off her last outing in her three-year-old debut here.
WIN: Souper Sensational to win at 5-1 or better.
EXACTA: 2 / 1,6,7,8 and 2,8 / 1,2,8