By Laura Pugh, of Horsin' Around
Ever since a loss to the
very underrated Zardana, Rachel Alexandra went from one of the most celebrated
horses in racing to obscurity. After a six week vacation, people seem to have
forgotten the ease of Devil May Care's romp in the Bonnie Miss, over the likes
of Amen Hallelujah and Christine Daae.
Rachel Alexandra needed the New Orleans Ladies to get her to where she is now.
She did have to lose to do it, but I would like to know how many think the
immortal greats like Secretariat, Spectacular Bid, and even Man o War went
undefeated. After her loss it was like she didn't exist. After a short period
of ridiculous statements like, "she's not the same horse, they should just
retire her," she dropped off the face of the planet.
Now she is back, in the La Troienne, and ready to roll. She has been working
like a monster since she was moved to Churchill, firing three bullet works in a
row, before a nice and easy half mile move. Trainer Steve Assmusen has been
very impressed with the Horse of the Year's progress, and he has not been the
only one who thinks the filly is back to her old self. Rachel Alexandra is
giving every indication she is ready for the La Troienne. Those still in doubt
are going to be in for a rude awakening on Friday.
Another filly many can't seem to bring themselves to respect is Devil May Care.
She has had two races this year, the Silverbulletday and the Bonnie Miss. Like
Rachel Alexandra, she needed that first start back, finishing a dull fifth in
the Silverbulletday. Returning back to her brilliant two year old form Devil
May Care easily handled a solid field of fillies in the Bonnie Miss, winning by
over four lengths.
This raw talent and Todd Pletcher's reassuring that the filly would relish the
ten furlong distance of the Kentucky Derby had her connections strongly
considering entering the filly against the boys. After Derby favorite Eskendereya scratched out,
leaving Devil May Care's jockey free there was little left holding the
connections back. Only a couple days later Devil May Care was confirmed for the
Despite her raw brilliance, her connections confidence, the way she has been
flourishing over at Churchill Downs, some people still refuse to give this
filly a chance. I understand she has been out of the public eye and wouldn't
have even gone into the Oaks as the favorite, even though she had by far the
most dominant prep by a filly.
These two are brilliant fillies that the public seems to have forgotten. It is
a shame we humans have such short term memory, and only go by the "what
have you done for me lately" clause. I will not be going by that, Rachel
Alexandra will return to form in the La Troienne and Devil May Care has as good
as shot as any to win the Derby. It is time to pull our heads out of the sand
so we can see the brilliance shining in front of us.