Calvin Borel to switch back to Mine That Bird for Belmont?

The 2009 Belmont Stakes, which is the third and final leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown, is still a couple weeks away (June 6 to be exact), but the big news surrounding the race so far is that Preakness winner Rachael Alexandra might not run.

Apparently trainer Steve Smussen and majority owner Jess Jackson are leaning against running filly Rachael Alexandra in the Belmont since she has already had a long spring campaign and she has nothing left to prove after beating the boys at the Preakness.

So what will Preakness-winning jockey Calvin Borel do for a ride then? Well, look no further than the horse he rode to victory at the Kentucky derby – Mine that Bird.

Getting back to Borel, with Rachael Alexandra an uncertainty for the Belmont Stakes, he can continue his quest for a personel Triple Crown aboard Mine That Bird, because there is certainty that trainer “Chip” Worrel Jr. and owner Mark Allen would love to reunite Borel with Mine That Bird. One more intriguing scenario exists for Borel, in that if somehow Mine That Bird and Rachael Alexandra don’t run in the Belmont Stakes, then what if Calvin picks up a new mount for the Belmont Stakes and wins aboard him. That would be an incredible Triple Crown, to win all three races on three different horses! One for the ages, and most likely never be done again.

This might not be a big deal to some, but a jockey winning the Triple Crown on three different horses would be quite the feat. Personally, I hope Rachael Alexandra runs at the Belmont, because she could be one of the best fillies to ever race and it would be a shame if she missed two of three Triple Crown legs.

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Rachel Alexandra wins 134th Preakness

Rachel Alexandra became the first filly to win the Preakness Stakes in 85 years, beating out Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, who made a late charge from last place but finished second.

Calvin Borel became the first jockey to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown on different horses. He rode Mine That Bird to victory in the Kentucky Derby, but switched horses so he could ride Rachael Alexandra, who was an 8/5 favorite coming into the Preakness.

Borel said after the race that the 3-year old filly struggled with the surface, but was quick to note that Rachael Alexandra was the greatest horse he’s ever been on in his life.

Owners from different horses knew the threat Rachael Alexandra was coming into the Preakness, because some contemplated entering more horses in order to keep her out from the 13-horse field. One of those owners was Mine That Bird’s Mark Allen, who thought about entering colt Indy Express to take up a spot in effort to keep Rachael Alexandra out, but eventually said that he wouldn’t.

Rachael Alexandra has now eight of her last 10 races and it’ll be interesting to see if she runs in the Belmont Stakes on June 6, which is third and final leg of the Triple Crown.

A $2 bet on Rachael Alexandra paid $5.60 and her final margin of victory over Mine That Bird was a length. Musket Man, who had 10/1 odds to win, finished third. (Musket Man finished third at the Kentucky Derby, too.)

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