The expensive Travel Column (Frosted) and regally bred Clairiere (Curlin), who finished one-two in the GII Golden Rod S., face off again Saturday at Fair Grounds in the GII Rachel Alexandra S., presented by Fasig-Tipton, which offers 50 points towards the GI Kentucky Oaks. Tabbed a 'TDN Rising Star' after an impressive score in her career bow sprinting at Churchill Sept. 4, the $850,000 FTSAUG purchase was third when trying two turns for the first time in Keeneland's GI Darley Alcibiades S. Oct. 2. The gray was last seen rallying to victory in the Nov. 28 Golden Rod and has been working in company with champion juvenile colt Essential Quality (Tapit) leading up to this, most recently covering five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 (4/51) in NOLA Feb. 7.
“I loved her going into the race, I was concerned during the race, and I loved her even more after the race,” trainer Brad Cox said. “It was a little bit of a worry. We saw it in the Alcibiades too, she breaks a little slow and had to make a premature move. But once she gets going, she's a really, really nice filly and she's shown it time and again.”
The first foal out of MGISW Cavorting (Bernardini), Stonestreet homebred Clairiere made a powerful late run to win at first asking in a 1 1/16-mile test at Churchill Oct. 25 and came up just a length short in the Golden Rod.
“She's a very good, lightly-raced filly with a huge pedigree,” conditioner Steve Asmussen said. “It's the right spot to start her back and we're really looking forward to it. But obviously we have our eye down the road [towards the Kentucky Oaks] with her too.”
Another of interest in this field is Cosmic Racing's Zoom Up (Upstart), who is two-for-two over this track. Hitting the board in her first two tries in Kentucky last fall, the dark bay broke through in a local sprint Dec. 19 and followed suit with an optional claimer score Jan. 18.