Rachel Alexandra became the first filly in 85 years to win the Preakness, turning back Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird to win by a length.
Purchased by Jess Jackson and Harold McCormick five days after her 201⁄4-length victory in the Kentucky Oaks-G1 and turned over to trainer Steve Asmussen, Rachel Alexandra came close to not getting into the classic as she hadn’t been nominated to the Triple Crown – if the race drew 14 other runners, she would be excluded. Thirteen were entered. She broke from the outside post and led at every call.
“She’s a freak,” said Asmussen. “She’s going to be compared to the all-time greats.”
Rachel Alexandra was inducted into the National Racing Hall of Fame in her first year of eligibility in 2016.
• The 2-year-old sales market remained strong despite a tough economy as the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale saw a record price of $850,000 for a Tapit colt and a plummeting buy-back rate. The second-highest price was for a half-brother to Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird purchased by Cot Campbell’s Dogwood Stable for $485,000. Both colts were consigned by Georgia-based pinhooker Cary Frommer, who soon relocated to South Carolina.
• Renowned photographer, writer, editor and library director Peter Winants died at the age of 82.
A Maryland native, Winants’ career in equine journalism began as photographer for The Maryland Horse in the early 1960s. He went on to become editor of The Chronicle of the Horse in the 1970s and served as director of the National Sporting Library in Middleburg, Va., in the 1990s. He was also the author of five books on steeplechasing, the first about timber great Jay Trump and his victory in the Grand National at Aintree.
• The life of Broad Brush, one of the toughest and most accomplished Maryland-breds of all time, was remembered after the 26-year-old stallion was euthanized at Gainesway Farm near Lexington, Ky., where the nation’s leading sire of 1994 stood his entire career.
The son of Ack Ack, bred and owned by Robert E. Meyerhoff and trained by Richard Small, won or placed in 24 of 27 starts and retired with a Maryland-bred earnings record of $2,656,793. At stud, he sired two Maryland-bred millionaires – Breeders’ Cup Classic-G1 winner Concern ($3,079,350) and $1,659,560-earner Include, both Maryland-bred Horses of the Year, as was their sire.
The sire of 93 stakes winners, Broad Brush had been pensioned since June 2004.