Rachel's Valentina Impresses in Debut
RACHEL'S VALENTINA — the two-year-old daughter of two Preakness Stakes (G1) winners — made a stunning debut at Saratoga on Aug. 2, defeating seven other young fillies in the process.
Sired by champion Bernardini (A.P. Indy) and out of Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra (Medaglia d'Oro), the Seattle Slew great-granddaughter overcame a slow start and a five-wide run around the far turn to challenge the pacesetter down the lane. Gaining the lead late in the stretch, Rachel's Valentina's speed carried her to a two-length advantage at the line. She ran the six furlongs in 1:10 1/5 over the fast track. The maiden special weight test was the second race of the day at the Spa.
The second foal out of Rachel Alexandra, Rachel's Valentina was foaled two days before Valentine's Day 2013 in Kentucky. Her complicated foaling and her dam's subsequent surgery and recovery were well documented. Rachel Alexandra, who earned more than $3.5 million on the track, was named Horse of the Year and champion three-year-old filly in 2009 following a flawless eight-for-eight campaign that included victories against fillies in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), boys in the Preakness and Haskell Invitational (G1), and older males in the Woodward Stakes (G1).
The winning filly's sire is Bernardini, 2006's champion three-year-old colt and a grandson of Seattle Slew. Among his six victories that year were the Preakness, Travers Stakes (G1) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1). He also ran second in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1). To date, Bernardini has sired 10 Grade or Group 1 winners, including multiple Grade 1 winners Stay Thirsty, Alpha, and To Honor and Serve.
The Slew Crew congratulates Rachel's Valentina, owners and breeders Stonestreet Stables, trainer Todd Pletcher, jockey John Velazquez and the rest of the filly's connections. May she be a new shining star for the racing world.