Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Career Race 101 Likely for Rachel’s Girl

Last Saturday, the eight-year-old mare Rachel’s Girl became one of the rare modern-day thoroughbreds to make a 100th career start.
Rachel’s Girl finished seventh and last in Gulfstream Park’s ninth race, a $6,250 claimer at 5 ½ furlongs on dirt.

But owner David Ludwig and trainer Doug Potter remain hopeful for a rejuvenation of Rachel’s Girl—a horse that last month was on the verge of being homeless.

They plan to give her a 101st race within several weeks, expecting that Gulfstream will schedule a one-mile dirt race at a claiming level that suits her.

“She has come back fine,” Ludwig said on Monday. “She is a happy horse. She likes to train in the morning.  We’ll see what she can do when we get her in a longer race.”

That is a brighter prospect than what Rachel’s Girl faced in the middle of June, when previous owner Spencer McDonald determined that he could no longer afford to keep her in training. McDonald left the mare with Potter, who had trained her in her previous two races.

Ludwig, who has owned several horses trained by Potter, came to the rescue. He paid Gulfstream the required $1 to assume ownership of Rachel’s Girl.

There was virtually no prospect for a regular sale of the horse that had just two wins, six second place finishes and two third place finishes in 99 starts.

Ludwig had Rachel’s Girl re-shod and wormed. After a veterinarian determined her fit, without any leg problems, Ludwig and Potter decided to give Rachel’s Girl a shot at a 100th race.

On Monday, Ludwig said he and Potter felt 5 ½ furlongs was short of the best distance for Rachel’s Girl. But they wanted to test her in a race this past weekend.

When Ludwig retires Rachel’s Girl from racing, he plans to place her on a farm in Davie or in a thoroughbred retirement program.

Ludwig is a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine
--Jim Freer


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