Rachel Alexandra Works Four Furlongs in :52

Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra posted her first official work of the year Sunday, a four-furlong breeze in :52 with regular exercise rider Dominic Terry aboard.

“I even asked for a touch slower but for her that’s just physically impossible,” said Scott Blasi, assistant to Rachel Alexandra’s trainer Steve Asmussen. “Dominic did a good job. He had to trick her into going that slow but right now that’s what’s best for her.”

Rachel Alexandra entered the track at the half-mile gap at 6:25 a.m., with Terry up, and led by Blasi aboard his pony. Together they backtracked more than a half-mile “the wrong way,” clockwise, to about the eighth-pole at the midway point of the Fair Grounds stretch. After standing for a few moments, Rachel Alexandra and Terry faced east and eased into a strong gallop, which they kept up around the first turn and down the backstretch. The filly picked up speed into the far turn and dropped down to the rail to let loose approaching the half-mile pole.

“It was a perfect work,” Blasi said. “We’re not out to impress anybody at this point. I’m happy with how manageable she is, how happy she is being out there. Looking at her body motion, she’s happy with what she’s doing.”

Blasi said that Rachel Alexandra would “breeze weekly from here on,” though on which day of the week depends on a number of factors, including weather and track conditions.

Back at Asmussen’s barn, Blasi was asked if it’s nice to have the champion filly breezing again. Grinning widely he said, “Anytime you can wake up like I do and walk in the barn and see Rachel Alexandra is a good morning.”