For anyone wondering if Rachel Alexandra’s wicked four-furlong breeze in :46.40 on Monday took too much out of her, the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro answered that question with a definitive ‘No’ Thursday morning. In her first time back on the track since that move, the dark bay filly all but dragged her exercise rider around the Churchill oval this morning wanting to do much more than just her routine gallop.
“She wanted to run but couldn’t,” said owner and breeder Dolphus Morrison, who arrived in Louisville Wednesday evening. “I’m not being arrogant but I think she’d run on this pavement right here.”
In addition to her amazing ability, part of what has made the Rachel Alexandra story such a popular one is due to her connections. There are countless wonderful people who are part of this game but right now I challenge anyone to find two nicer, more genuine souls than trainer Hal Wiggins and his wife Renee. Wiggins, who has been training for Morrison for 30 years, greats everyone who stops by to glance at his star filly with a wide, welcoming smile. And no matter how many times he gets asked about ‘Rachel’, he answers every media query with a fresh response as if he is hearing all of this for the first time.
With her pink ‘Alexandra the Great’ hat now a staple in her wardrobe, Renee Wiggins is as warm a presence as her husband. She just about explodes with pride every time she talks about Hal and how hard he has worked during their 45 years of marriage to get to this point in his career.
“We talked about getting married on our first date,” Renee said. “I recognized a good thing when I saw it. It’s been very hard at times (being the wife of a trainer) but we’ve been so close, we’ve been attached at the hip.”