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Rachel’s Valentina Retired From Racing

Rachel’s Valentina Retired From Racing

26.07.2016, by Jim
Rachel’s Valentina Retired From Racing&h=223&w=348&zc=1

It was no secret that Rachel’s Valentina–the only daughter of legendary mare Rachel Alexandra–had been a disappointment in recent races. Even so, the announcement that she was being retired from racing was unexpected to say the least.

The announcement was made on the website of owner-breeder Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Farms on Sunday: “We want to announce that Rachel’s Valentina will now retire from racing sound and injury-free. We look forward to sharing her babies with you, carrying on the legacy of ‘Rachel the Great.’ ” So far, there’s been no additional context given for her retirement.

Rachel’s Valentina showed considerable promise as a two year old–after winning her debut race she took the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes before finishing second Songbird in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Songbird is undoubtedly the best three year old filly in racing so finishing second in that race was nothing to be ashamed of. Things didn’t look too bad as she started her three year old campaign. She finished second to Weep No More in the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland. After that, she started to disappoint. She finished sixth in the Kentucky Oaks and fifth in the Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes–she had been the post time favorite in both races.

The most obvious backstory is a fairly simple one–her connections want her sound and healthy for breeding purposes. Rachel’s Valentina was the second foal out of Rachel Alexandra who suffered severe complications following the birth of her only daughter. These issues required surgery and a lengthy recuperation in the veterinary clinic before she was given a clean bill of health and was able to return home to Stonestreet Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.

Due to the difficulty that Rachel Alexandra suffered during foaling Stonestreet Farm owner Barbara Banke has said that she will not be bred again. Rachel Alexandra has a full sister named Samantha Nicole who is also a broodmare at Stonestreet Farm. Rachel’s Valentina will likely join her next spring.

The only other foal of Rachael Alexandra is Jess’s Dream, a 4 year old son of Curlin that has been hampered by minor injuries throughout his racing career. He’s recently returned to training under the care of Kieran McLaughlin.

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