The 2016 season hasn’t exactly panned out for Rachel’s Valentina as her connections had hoped. The daughter of past Preakness winners Bernardini and Rachel Alexandra entered her three-year old season as one of the favorites to burst through and rule over her age class. Instead, it’s been one painful loss after another. The Mother Goose Stakes will represent a chance for her to right the ship.
Rachel’s Valentina burst on to the scene before she had even broken the gates at any stakes races. That’s what happens when you have a pedigree such as hers. She is considered thoroughbred royalty. Winning her maiden debut and the Spinaway late last summer indicated that she was well on the rise to becoming the next, great female contender.
Later that year, she would face Songbird at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and place as the runner-up. That race was supposed to set the stage for one of the best rivalries in 2016, and one that certainly had the stock to help propel the unofficially named Triple Tiara.
Unfortunately, the undefeated Songbird came down with a fever that held her out of the Kentucky Oaks and Rachel’s Valentina was bested by Weep No More at the Ashland in April in her only prep race. At Churchill Downs, the heiresses stock fell even further as she plummeted to sixth in a field of 14 at the Kentucky Oaks. She skipped the last two legs of the Tiara circuit and has no resurfaced for the Mother Goose Stakes.
She will have her hands full at the race, especially when it comes to outside runner Lighstream who is coming off a win at the Soaring Softly. Lewis Bay, who came third at the Kentucky Oaks her last time out, will also be in the thick of things. Off The Tracks placed second at the Acorn amongst a strong field and will also look to play the role of spoiler. Then there’s newcomer Linda Mimi, who recently won her first maiden after placing third in her first attempt.
All will be trying to derail Rachel’s Valetina’s attempts at a comeback to the perch she sat so safely on just a handful of months ago. The Mother Goose Stakes will either be vindication for this beloved contender, or it will be one of the final nails in her competitive coffin. Let’s hope that it’s the former, especially considering that this race was one of the many challenges that her mother won.
The Mother Goose Stakes is a 1 1/16th mile race at Belmont Park that will be run this Saturday, July 2nd at 5:45pm EST.
Mother Goose Stakes (Belmont Park – Saturday, July 2nd at 5:45pm EST)
1 1/6th mile, 3+ Year Old Fillies, $300,000)
|1||Linda Mimi (KY)||Jose Lezcano||121||Gustavo Delgado||–|
|2||Off the Tracks (KY)||Jose L. Ortiz||121||Todd A. Pletcher||–|
|6||Rachel’s Valentina (KY)||John R. Velazquez||121||Todd A. Pletcher||–|
|5||Lewis Bay (KY)||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||121||Chad C. Brown||–|
|4||Mo d’Amour (KY)||Manuel Franco||121||Todd A. Pletcher||–|
|3||Mom’s On Strike (FL)||Kendrick Carmouche||121||Joe Sharp||–|
|7||Lightstream (KY)||Joel Rosario||121||Brian A. Lynch||–|