Photo by Coglianese Photos/Susie Raisher
Rachel’s Valentina, the two-year-old daughter of Rachel Alexandra that broke her maiden in impressive fashion on August 2nd, will make her stakes debut this Saturday in the $350,000 Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Trained by Todd Pletcher and owned by Stonestreet Stable, Rachel’s Valentina got off to a slow start in her debut and had to be urged early on to keep up with the pacesetters. But despite a wide trip, she finished strongly in the homestretch to triumph by two lengths. According to a race preview on the New York Racing Association Website, Pletcher was very pleased with how Rachel’s Valentina ran in her first race.
“I thought her debut was everything we were hoping it would be,” said Pletcher. “She was very professional, settled off the pace, closed well, galloped out strongly and has trained well since then. We always felt like more distance would be what she wants. So we are looking forward to getting her going.”
Rachel’s Valentina’s maiden win came at six furlongs, and the seven-furlong distance of the Spinaway should play in her favor. She will face five talented rivals on Saturday, including stablemate Tonasah, runner-up in the Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) earlier in the Saratoga meet. Constellation and Tap to It, a pair of impressive maiden winners at Saratoga, are also expected to draw strong wagering support.
The complete entries for the Spinaway are as follows:
Spinaway Stakes (gr. I)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Trainer, Morning Line Odds
1 Tap to It, Joel Rosario, Ralph Nicks, 7-2
2 Rachel’s Valentina, John Velazquez, Todd Pletcher, 5-2
3 Tonasah, Javier Castellano, Todd Pletcher, 7-2
4 Anna Rae, Luis Saez, Jeremiah Englehart, 12-1
5 Constellation, Irad Ortiz Jr., Steve Asmussen, 3-1
6 Banree, Rafael Hernandez, Wesley Ward, 8-1