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Rachel Alexandra returns to Stonestreet

Rachel Alexandra, the 2009 Horse of the Year, returned home to Stonestreet Farm Tuesday, beginning the next stage of her remarkable recuperation following abdominal surgery in mid-February.

Stonestreet employees decorated her stall with cards from fans as they awaited her arrival; a get-well banner from Fair Grounds stretched across the barn, ready to welcome the hard-fighting champion home.

"Having Rachel home is a milestone in her recovery. Our Stonestreet team is so happy to have her home and we are eager to give her all the exceptional care and attention she needs," Stonestreet owner Barbara Banke said. "I am deeply grateful to Drs. Woodie, Barr, Reed and the entire Rood & Riddle team for the unparalleled care Rachel has received at their facility. A special thank you as well to Medical Technician Brent Comer for his dedication to her care, and to Alex Riddle for keeping Rachel's fans updated on her progress."

Stonestreet's team and Rood & Riddle medical technicians will join to monitor Rachel around the clock while Dr. Bonnie Barr checks her progress with daily visits to the farm.

"This time of transition is a big step, as well as an added stress in her recovery from a very serious, life-threatening condition. We feel, however, that she is ready to take on this challenge, and in doing so, she takes the next step toward getting back to life on the farm," Dr. Barr said.

Rachel's first few days at home will focus on ensuring she is comfortable in her surroundings through hand grazing. She will then transition to a small, temporary round pen the size of her stall. As Rachel becomes comfortable and her team feels satisfied with her progress, panels will be inserted to gradually extend that round pen.

These slow, deliberate, day-to-day steps are designed to evolve into turnout in a regularly sized round pen followed ultimately by transition to a small paddock. While this process could take as little as a couple of weeks, Rachel and her team will set a cautious pace.

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