Rachel Alexandra, the 2009 Horse of the Year, is in serious condition after undergoing surgery yesterday to repair her small colon, which she bruised during the birth of her filly, Stonestreet Farm said.
The 10-year-old mare is recovering at Rood and Riddle Equine Clinic in Lexington, Kentucky.
“She’s showing the same strength and courage now that she demonstrated on the track,” owner Barbara Banke said on her Facebook page. “Our hearts are broken by this turn of events.”
Rachel Alexandra’s 140-pound filly, sired by 2006 Preakness Stakes winner Bernardini, was born at 2:30 a.m. on Feb. 12 and has returned to Stonestreet Farm, where she will be tended by a nurse mare.
Rachel Alexandra also gave birth to a 125-pound colt on Jan. 22, 2012, at Stonestreet Farm. Its sire is Curlin, who in 2008 became the first thoroughbred since Cigar in 1996 to retain Horse of the Year honors.
Curlin won 11 of 16 starts in two years and won $10.5 million in prize money, capturing the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic and the Preakness.
Rachel Alexandra went undefeated in 2009. After a 20 1/2- length win in the Kentucky Oaks, she won the Preakness Stakes, the second event in racing’s Triple Crown. The late Jess Jackson, owner of Stonestreet Farm, bought her after the Kentucky Oaks victory.
Rachel Alexandra opened 2010 with two runner-up finishes before claiming the Fleur De Lis Handicap and the Lady’s Secret Stakes. She finished second in the Personal Ensign Stakes on Aug. 29, her final race.
She was retired in September 2010 without competing against Zenyatta, the 2010 Horse of the Year, who won 19 of her 20 starts including the male-dominated Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2009.
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