Rachel Alexandra, the 3-year-old filly who is a leading contender for Horse of the Year, will not run in the Breeders' Cup Classic despite an enticement approved by the organization's board to add $1 million to the winner's share of the purse this year if the undefeated mare Zenyatta also started, her owner, Jess Jackson, said on Friday.
Jackson said that Rachel Alexandra would not race again this year following her victory in last Saturday's Woodward Stakes against older horses at Saratoga Racecourse. He also said that he remained opposed to racing Rachel Alexandra on the synthetic racing surface in place at Santa Anita Park in Southern California, where the Classic will be held on Oct. 7.
"My concerns are well known about the tracks in California," Jackson said in a statement. "These false tracks create potential for injury, a risk that I am not willing to take with Rachel. Bottom line, despite an increase in purses, she will not race at the Breeders' Cup this year."
Jackson said in the statement that Rachel Alexandra would not run again this year.
"Rachel has already completed a brilliant and long campaign," Jackson said. "And as I said after the Woodward, she deserves a rest."
The board of the Breeders' Cup unanimously approved the $1 million supplement during a Friday meeting, according to the organization. The supplement would raise the winner's share of the purse to $3.7 million, which would make the race worth more to the winner than any other race in the world, the Breeders' Cup said.
Breeders' Cup officials acknowledged that the supplement was a longshot to attract the two stars to the same race.
"While we respect that the race has not been under consideration by Rachel Alexandra's connections, we wanted to make sure that the Breeders' Cup did everything in its power to make the prospect of competing at Santa Anita in November as attractive as possible," said Greg Avioli, the organization's president, in a statement.
The connections of Zenyatta have said that the mare will likely run in either the Ladies' Classic on Nov. 6 or the Classic on Nov. 7 if she continues to train and race well.