Statement by Jess Jackson on behalf of Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick
“Rachel Alexandra is an incredible thoroughbred who has proven to be the best three year old in racing today. We are elated by all the attention her wins in the Oaks and Preakness has garnered the sport.
The many letters and emails we have received from young girls and racing enthusiasts lets us know that many fans are proud of Rachel. When we purchased Rachel, our goal was to restore the sport’s vitality and grow its fan base by extending the racing careers of its stars.
After careful consideration, we have decided not to run Rachel Alexandra in the Belmont Stakes next weekend. We have advised Calvin Borel, Chip Woolley and Belmont of our decision. We thank them, the media and the fans for their many courtesies and patience while we pondered.
We know the media and many fans would have liked to see her run in the Belmont Stakes – we feel the same. But all of us sincerely interested in the horse must agree that we only want to see her run when it is best for her. While she is in great shape, having strong works, and recovering well from her amazing performances, we feel Rachel deserves a well-earned vacation. Since March 14, Rachel has won four graded races with just two weeks rest between her last two victories. We will always put her long-term well being first. And, of course, we want to run her when she is fresh.
Rachel, her owners, her trainers and her fans can continue to anticipate an exciting campaign. All major races will be considered as we look to the rest of Rachel’s racing career.”
Chip Woolley, trainer of Mine That Bird, confirmed Calvin Borel will be back aboard the gelding for the Belmont.
“We were willing to wait because we felt like we owed it to him,” Woolley said Friday. “We have this thing called loyalty and I’m happy to have him back.”