In a shortened La Troienne field, Rachel Alexandra lost for the second time in as many races, this time to the Bill Mott-trained Unrivaled Belle by a head. Previously, last year's Horse of the Year lost to Zardana in the New Orleans Ladies who finished fourth in this field of six.
LA TROIENNE QUOTES
KENT DESORMEAUX (Jockey, Unrivaled Belle, winner) — “Oh, man, my mare was breathing fire today. Billy (trainer Bill Mott) put me on a good one today. I feel like the mouse that stole the cheese. I was hoping to be on the lead here today, but that spot was already taken. So I stayed where I was and waited. I made the lead and Rachel Alexandra passed me at the head of the lane. But my filly came again. Then Rachel passed me again at the eighth pole. But my filly fought back. What a race for her! She was special today.”
BILL MOTT (Trainer, Unrivaled Belle, winner) — “I had confidence in my filly today; I thought she's run very well. But I wasn't confident we'd beat Rachel Alexandra. I mean we're talking about a champion filly, the Horse of the Year. I told Mr. Vegso (co-owner Peter Vegso) to expect that we'd run well, but not that we were going to win. But here we are. My filly ran huge. She just ran great. And I don't think it was that the other mare (Rachel Alexandra) ran poorly. She ran her race, too. We just outdid her. They were eyeball to eyeball there and my filly got her. I saw at the three-eighths (pole) that Kent (rider Kent Desormeaux) was sitting there with a lot of horse. I said ‘All right, we've still got something in the tank.' She ran great through the lane – all heart.”
CALVIN BOREL (Jockey, Rachel Alexandra, second) – Borel's agent Jerry Hissam: ”He's not going to make a statement. She ran a big race and just got beat. That's horse racing.”
STEVE ASMUSSEN (Trainer, Rachel Alexandra, second) – “She's just not been as fast as last summer. She ran a good race, but not a great race. She does carry a lot more weight. Calvin (Borel) did absolutely nothing wrong today. I thought he got along with her great today. There's an old adage in racing: You get paid for what you do, but you pay for what you do. I think there's some hangover. What we have to realize is there has been improvement since her last race. We don't need a knee-jerk reaction. The defeat last time put a lot of pressure on. You don't run a horse expecting to get beat, especially Rachel.”
JOSE LEZCANO (Jockey, Morena, third) – “When I asked her, she gave me a big kick. She ran a good race today, especially when you consider who she ran against.”
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