Star filly Rachel Alexandra made history at Saratoga Race Course by becoming the first female to win the prestigious Woodward Stakes on Saturday, holding off Macho Again by a head at Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
The 3-year-old ran an electrifying race against the older boys for her ninth consecutive win and all but clinched horse-of-the-year honors.
Rachel Alexandra dueled early with 2008 Belmont Stakes winner Da'Tara before taking the lead along the backstretch. She set a blistering early pace on the way to running 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.29.
On the turn for home, it looked for a brief moment as though the filly would be caught, but regular rider Calvin Borel wasn't bashful about using the whip, first left-handed, then right-handed to keep her in the lead.
As they crossed the finish line, Borel raised his right hand in a No. 1 salute and pointed to racing's biggest star.
Rachel Alexandra beat 3-year-olds boys in the Preakness and the Haskell Invitational, and overwhelmed 3-year-old fillies in the Kentucky Oaks and the Mother Goose Stakes.
Southern Equine Stable's Mi Sueno, the even-money favorite under jockey Michael Baze, clinched the 2-year-old filly championship of the summer season with a hard-earned victory in the Grade I $300,000 Darley Debutante.