The much-anticipated racing showdown between unbeaten Zenyatta and 2009 horse of the year Rachel Alexandra scheduled for April 9 in the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park is off. Rachel Alexandra's owner, Jess Jackson, said in a statement Sunday that his horse is not in top condition and will skip the race.
Rachel Alexandra, a 4-year-old filly, finished second Saturday to Zenyatta's stablemate, Zardana, in the $200,000 New Orleans Ladies, her first race in six months. On the same day, the 6-year-old Zenyatta won her 15th consecutive race, winning the Grade I $250,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap at Santa Anita.
"Yesterday's race, while a disappointment, helped us define Rachel Alexandra's racing condition," Jackson said. "While she is healthy, just as I had anticipated, she is not in top form. Therefore, I decided today she will not be going" to Oaklawn for the race.
If both horses had raced, the Apple Blossom purse would have been raised to $5 million. Now it will revert back to $500,000. Zenyatta still intends to compete in the Apple Blossom.