Its is somewhat official that Oaklawn Park has been able to put together a match up pitting the 2009 Horse of the Year, Rachel Alexandra and the 2009 Champion Older Mare and undefeated Zenyatta in the 2010 edition of the Apple Blossom Invitational.
Charles Cella the President of Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, AR has verified that the connections of both mares have confirmed that they will meet for the first time on April 9th. The purse for the race has been increased from $500,000 to $5,000,000, and the length of the race has been increased from 1 1/16th mile to 1 1/8th mile.
The race was previously set up to be run on its original date of April 3rd, but the connections of Rachel Alexandra did not feel comfortable bringing her back with 3 weeks rest after her first races of the year. We have now received confirmation that Rachel Alexandra will make her 4 year old debut in the March 13th New Orleans Ladies at the Fairgrounds Race course in New Orleans Louisiana. The New Orleans Ladies is for fillies and mares at 1 1/16th on the main track.
The major question I have is why is Jackson allowing her to prep in a race that is non-graded and Zenyatta will race in a Grade 1 as her prep. Not the best decision in my opinion, as the Azeri at Oaklawn would be the perfect prep for her at Oaklawn and a Grade III event.
But as long as they make it to the starting gate together on April 9th, none of that makes any matter. Stay tuned for more updates in the future.