Rachel Alexandra, the brilliant runaway winner of the Grade I Kentucky Oaks, has been sold to Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stable and Harold McCormick and will probably be transferred to the barn of trainer Steve Asmussen.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Rachel Alexandra was previously owned by Dolphus Morrison — who bred the filly — and his partner Mike Lauffer. Hal Wiggins has trained the daughter of Medaglia d'Oro throughout her 10-race career
"They signed the papers this afternoon, and the money will be transferred tomorrow," Wiggins said when reached by phone Wednesday night. "As soon as the money clears, they'll come pick her up. It's hard, you have mixed emotions about it. We're really going to hate losing her, and my assistant was saying it's going to be hard to walk down the shedrow and not see her in her stall."
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Wiggins said the deal took place quickly as the parties came to vet Rachel Alexandra at Churchill Downs early Wednesday morning.
The filly was being pointed toward the Grade I Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park on June 6 following her Oaks win. Although no indication has been given on where she might make her next start, Wiggins said he "wouldn't be surprised" if her new owners paid the $100,000 it would take to supplement her into the Preakness Stakes.
Out of the stakes-winning mare Lotta Kim — who was also bred by Morrison — Rachel Alexandra captured the Kentucky Oaks by a record 201/4 lengths, just missing the stakes-record time while under a light hand-ride from jockey Calvin Borel.
The striking bay filly is unbeaten, and virtually untested, in her past five starts winning by a combined margin of 431/2 lengths. Her win streak began when she took the Grade II Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill in November by 43/4 lengths.
"Rachel Alexandra is one of the best horses in racing today," Jackson said in a release. "She is fast, strong and durable — the traits we should all be breeding into all future generations of race horses. Her beauty and athleticism will thrill thousands of fans."
Jackson campaigned two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, who was trained by Asmussen. The release said Rachel Alexandra would be bred to Curlin upon her retirement.
Rachel Alexandra's stirring Oaks triumph was the first Grade I victory for both Wiggins and Morrison. Wiggins has trained for Morrison for 30 years, including conditioning Lotta Kim.
"It probably wasn't an easy decision for (Morrison), but I think the amount of money sometimes you can't turn down," Wiggins said. "I can't blame him, I really can't. Sometimes these horses go years and years and don't make a lot of money, but when you have a chance to hit a home run, you take it."
Morrison did not return a message left by the Herald-Leader on Wednesday night.
"We hate it, but we all feel blessed to have had her through the Oaks, and we will always have those memories with our family and friends," Wiggins said. "Whenever you lose a filly like that from your barn, it's a tremendous loss. But you pick up and go on, and I hope to see her in the winner's circle many times."