2009 Mother Goose Stakes
The $300,000 Mother Goose Stakes (G1) is the middle leg of the New York Triple Tiara, but this year's renewal turned out to be a public workout or a virtual walkover. Although five 3-year-old fillies originally entered this 1 1/8 mile trip around one turn of the Belmont Park main track, two scratched the day of the race, leaving a field of three. As expected, Kentucky Oaks and Preakness Stakes winner Rachel Alexandra was sent off at 1-20 odds, making her second start for new owner Stonestreet Stables and trainer Steve Asmussen. In to challenge the daughter of Medaglia d'Oro were 6-1 second choice Flashing, winner of three straight going in including the Nassau County last out, and 11-1 Malibu Prayer, an allowance winner last out and making her stakes debut. Racing conditions were ideal with sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 70's, with 13,352 in attendance, a figure artificially inflated by two promotions, a Rachel Alexandra bracelet giveaway and free admission for female fans.
When the gate opened, jockey John Velazquez aboard Malibu Prayer was hustled to the lead immediately and was stalked to her outside by Flashing through very fast fractions of 22.57, 44.66, and 1:08.86 over the fast track. Jockey Calvin Borel kept Rachel Alexandra in hand early, staying well off the rail on the backstretch about 3 lengths off the pace. At the 3/8 pole, Borel asked Rachel for run and got it, as the heavy favorite came through the hole between the two tiring pacesetters, taking over the lead at the 1/4 pole. Borel tapped her with his whip right handed and she drew off with authority, opening up an 8 length lead at the 1/8 pole through a mile in 1:33.60. Under wraps through the final furlong she cruised to a 19 1/4 length victory over Malibu Prayer in a new stakes record time of 1:46.33, just 0.93 seconds off Secretariat's track record. It was another 12 1/4 lengths back to Flashing third. As well, the margin of victory was also a stakes record, eclipsing the previous record of 13 1/2 lengths set by Ruffian in 1975.
With just three starters, place, show, exacta, and trifecta wagering was cancelled. With the amount of money bet on Rachel Alexandra, the race had a minus win pool on Rachel Alexandra of $18,698.62, with NYRA's share being $1,162.39. A minus pool means the amount paid out to the bettors due to the minimum pay-off of $2.10 was more than the amount wagered after the take out (15% for win bets at NYRA) was removed from the pool.
Winning Time: 1:46.33