Clairiere Avenges Earlier Loss To Travel Column, Earns 50 Kentucky Oaks Points In Rachel Alexandra Stakes

Last early, Stonestreet Stables LLC’s homebred Clairiere rallied in the final sixteenth of a mile under Joe Talamo to edge favored Travel Column by a neck to win the Grade 2, $300,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, La., on Saturday.

Moon Swag finished 6 1/2 lengths farther back in third, a neck in front of Littlestitious in fourth in the field of eight 3-year-old fillies. All starters carried 122 pounds and all competed without race-day Lasix in order to be eligible for Kentucky Oaks qualifying points.

The race was the first of the 85 qualifying points races for the Oaks, giving 50-20-10-5 points to the top four. Charlie’s Penny, coming off a win in the Silverbulletday Stakes at Fair Grounds last out, was scratched from the Rachel Alexandra.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, the daughter of Curlin out of the multiple G1-winning Bernardini mare Cavorting, completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.34 on a fast track. She was the 2-1 second choice behind Travel Column, the even-money favorite who beat Clairiere when the two met in their last start in the G2 Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs last Nov. 28.

Off We Go set the pace in the Rachel Alexandra, going the opening quarter mile in :23.73 and the half in :47.99. Travel Column raced in second, then took command rounding the stretch turn after six furlongs in 1:14.22. Talamo allowed Clairiere to drop back to last after breaking from the inside post, saved ground throughout, then swung out while directly behind Travel Column in mid-stretch. Clairiere wore down Travel Column, who was being hand ridden by Florent Geroux until the eventual winner came up alongside her inside the sixteenth pole after a mile in 1:39.06, at which time Geroux went to a left-handed stick. By then, Clairiere had all the momentum and went on to the victory.

“This is a really nice filly, very professional,” said Talamo. “Steve gave me all the confidence in the world in her. Going in he said to just ride your race. I just kind of pointed her in the right direction and down the lane when I eased her out she was all racehorse. It’s fun to ride those kind. The sky is the limit, especially with that just being her third start.”

The Rachel Alexandra Stakes is named for the 2009 Horse of the Year co-owned by Stonestreet.

“I’m extremely excited about who she is,” said Asmussen. “This filly, the third run of her life, is just getting better. Races going further look like they’ll be right in her wheelhouse. For her to win the Rachel Alexandra in the Stonestreet silks is extremely special. We’ll discuss her next start with the team and she how we’re doing. This filly has a very bright future.”

“It was a little disappointing (not to win) but it was a good start to the year,” Geroux said of the Brad Cox-trained Travel Column, who races for Larry Best’s OXO Equine. “We were chasing and I was stuck in a bad position because I was chasing a longshot and I didn’t want to go after her because I’m doing the dirty work for the other guys. I just felt like, off a layoff, that wasn’t the ideal scenario.”

It was a good effort,” said Cox. “We obviously would have liked to win but I think she’s going to get a lot out of it. She was a wide into the first turn but that’s OK, given the post. She broke better today. I liked the trip. She ran well down the lane and they really finished up solid. It’s her first race of the year and it’s something we can build on.”

The post Clairiere Avenges Earlier Loss To Travel Column, Earns 50 Kentucky Oaks Points In Rachel Alexandra Stakes appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.