February 23, 2024

Intricate takes on formidable Cox trio in Rachel Alexandra

Intricate wins The Golden Rod S. (G2) at Churchill Downs
Intricate wins The Golden Rod S. (G2) at Churchill Downs (Photo by Coady Photography / Credit to Kurtis Coady)

Intricate will attempt to follow a path set last year by Brendan Walsh-trained stablemate Pretty Mischievous when she makes her season debut in the $300,000 Rachel Alexandra (G2) at Fair Grounds on Saturday.

Pretty Mischievous kicked off her 2023 campaign with a victory in the 1 1/16-mile Rachel Alexandra, and later won the Kentucky Oaks (G1) en route to champion three-year-old filly honors. Intricate raced three times last year, finishing fifth in her debut around one turn but dominating in two route attempts, a maiden event at Keeneland and then the Golden Rod (G2) at Churchill Downs.

The task facing Intricate will be difficult. Trainer Brad Cox has dominated the divisional stakes so far this meet and has entered most of his big guns. Alpine Princess captured the Untapable S. in late December by two lengths over stablemate West Omaha, who returned last month to win the Silverbulletday S. by five lengths. Depth is enhanced by the presence of Tarifa, who ran slightly faster than West Omaha did when taking an allowance on the same Jan. 20 card at Fair Grounds.

The three other fillies in the Rachel Alexandra have demonstrated ability, though all would seemingly need to flash improvement. V V’s Dream is the most accomplished of the trio, having dominated the Pocahontas (G3) in September, followed by a solid second in the Alcibiades (G1). An off track might have hindered her chances last time in the Rags to Riches S., in which she finished a well-beaten third as a heavy favorite.

Pennick has been highly impressive winning her two starts, though neither were beyond 5 1/2 furlongs. The field is rounded out by Perfect Shot, the distant runner-up in the Silverbulletday.

The Rachel Alexandra will award Kentucky Oaks qualifying points of 50-25-15-10-5 to the respective top five finishers.

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