Sep 28, 2010

Rachel Alexandra is Retired

I suppose this gives me the opportunity to run this baby photo of Rachel Alexandra yet again; it offsets how sad this news makes me, though I'll be the last to argue that the mare should keep going.  I've been meaning to post something on her lackluster year of defeats, but I gotta be honest....it just didn't feel good to meditate on Rachel's burnout.  She's not the same horse she was, but that doesn't take away in the tiniest bit the fact that during her peak last year, she was one of the most brilliant horses I will ever have the pleasure of witnessing.  She deserves to go down in history for her triumphs.

But her heart wasn't in it this year.  Rachel had lost the drive, the lustre.  It wasn't that she was a bad horse; it was just that she was suddenly so average.  Even lesser company would outrun her.  So as much as I hate the decision to retire her, I certainly can't blame her entourage for doing it.  It's hard to keep running a champion that doesn't seem to carry the same magic, who appears to be struggling.  It's probably not the fairest thing to do, but some of the greats have hit bottom and kept going.  Some even staged comebacks.  I'd love to see Rachel get the opportunity for a comeback, but I have to face reality and admit that it's not the wisest thing to do financially.  She's a valuable horse, one that shouldn't be risked just for the sake of history.  She proved her worth and I suppose it's time for me to let her go prove her value as a broodmare. 

Jess Jackson said it more eloquently, "'As you know, despite top training and a patient campaign, Rachel Alexandra did not return to her 2009 form.  I believe it's time to retire our champion and reward her with a less stressful life. We are delighted she will retire healthy and happy to our beautiful farm in Kentucky."  

Here's to you, Rachel.  Thanks for restoring my faith and giddy excitement in horse racing.

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