British Idiom to Start Year in Rachel Alexandra
RSS Feeds Tuesday, February 11, 2020

With a Breeders' Cup victory and an Eclipse Award to boot, British Idiom is set to make her 3-year-old debut Feb. 15 in the $300,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

The Flashback filly, undefeated winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and Darley Alcibiades (G1), is one of seven entries in the prep for the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1). She'll meet three-time stakes winner Finite for the first time in the 1 1/16-mile test.

British Idiom will break from post 6 as regular jockey Javier Castellano heads to New Orleans from his South Florida winter base to ride.

"I thought we drew well," trainer Brad Cox said. "Obviously we're facing some really nice fillies who ran well here a month ago in the Silverbulletday. After Breeders' Cup we gave her some time off to just be a horse and put some weight on. She's really trained well in the past four or five weeks, she's picked it up, and each week she seems to be getting better and better.

"She's coming into this race every bit as good as she was when she went into Breeders' Cup. I'm really excited about how she's training and I think she'll run really well Saturday."

Campaigned by Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group, Madaket Stables, and Bethlehem Stables, British Idiom will try to win the same Oaks prep that her older stablemate and champion Monomoy Girl made her victorious 3-year-old bow in two years ago.

Trainer Steve Asmussen will send out Finite, who rattled off victories in the Rags to Riches Stakes and Golden Rod Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs and in the Jan. 18 Silverbulletday Stakes at Fair Grounds. He's used the Rachel Alexandra as a launching pad to the Kentucky Oaks before, including with Untapable, who won both races in 2014.

Winchell Thoroughbreds, Thomas Reiman, William Dickson, and Debbie Easter own the Munnings filly. Ricardo Santana Jr. retains the mount from the outside post.

"What a quality filly," Asmussen said after the Silverbulletday. "She is just another really special Winchell homebred. She has earned everything she's gotten."

A familiar cast from the Silverbulletday will be back against Finite. The respective runner-up and third-place finishers, Ursula and Tempers Rising, return, as well as fifth-place finisher His Glory. Ursula has been second in two straight stakes, also finishing behind recent Martha Washington Stakes winner Taraz in the Letellier Memorial Stakes. She was only a neck behind Finite at the Silverbulletday finish, and a head in front of Tempers Rising.

Maiden winners Swiss Skydiver and Impeccable Style, both trained by Ken McPeek, complete the field. Swiss Skydiver, a 5 1/2-length debut winner at Churchill's November meet, was fifth last out in the Jan. 18 Gasparilla Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. She rallied from 10th to be beaten only three-quarters of a length. The Rachel Alexandra will be the first start for Impeccable Style since breaking her maiden in September at Churchill Downs.

"They're two fillies that I think both have a lot of talent," McPeek said. "Both want to go longer and are asking for a route of ground. I think it's going to be a really good test for them as far as class and distance."

The Rachel Alexandra will award points toward the Kentucky Oaks on a 50-20-10-5 scale to the top four finishers. British Idiom is currently second on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard with 30 points. Finite is third with 20 points. 

Courtesy of the BloodHorse

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