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NEW ORLEANS, LA – Stonestreet Stables homebred Clairiere overpowered the even-money favorite Travel Column in the stretch to win Saturday’s $300,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes Presented by Fasig-Tipton (G2) at Fair Grounds.
Clairiere broke from the rail under Joe Talamo as the 2/1 second choice and took up residency behind each of her seven rivals heading into the clubhouse turn.
Off We Go burst to the lead and posted opening fractions of :23.73 and :47.99, but she readily gave way in the far turn as the stalking Travel Column swept to the lead under her own power.
Travel Column straightened for home with a growing advantage and jockey Florent Geroux remained motionless aboard her for much of the stretch run.
This allowed a ducking and diving Clairiere to steer around her rivals and surprise Travel Column with a strong bid near the 1/16 pole.
Clairiere’s momentum pushed her neck past Travel Column to win the 1 1/16-mile fast dirt route in 1:45.34.
“This is a really nice filly, very professional,” Talamo said. “Steve gave me all the confidence in the world in her. Going in, he said to just ride your race. I just kind of pointed her in the right direction, and down the lane, when I eased her out, she was all racehorse. It’s fun to ride those kind. The sky is the limit, especially with that just being her third start.”
Travel Column was 6 1/2 lengths clear of Moon Swag, who necked out Littlestitious for third.
“It was a little disappointing, but it was a good start to the year,” Geroux said. “We were chasing and I was stuck in a bad position because I was chasing a longshot and I didn’t want to go after her because I’m doing the dirty work for the other guys. I just felt like, off a layoff, that wasn’t the ideal scenario.”
Becca’s Rocket, Souper Sensational, Zoom Up, and Off We Go completed the order of finish.
Charlie’s Penny was scratched after trainer Chris Block identified a minor injury earlier in the week.
The Rachel Alexandra is part of the Road to the 2021 Kentucky Oaks prep race season. Clairiere earned 50 points for the win, with Travel Column receiving 20 for second, Moon Swag 10 for third, and Littlestitious 5 for fourth.
Clairiere’s win was her second from 3 starts and turned the tables on her loss to Travel Column in last November’s Golden Rod Stakes (G2). The 3-year-old Curlin filly is the first foal from multiple Grade 1 winner Cavorting and has now earned $270,492.
“I’m extremely excited about who she is,” Asmussen said. “This filly, the third run of her life, is just getting better. Races going further look like they’ll be right in her wheelhouse. For her to win the Rachel Alexandra in the Stonestreet silks is extremely special. We’ll discuss her next start with the team and she how we’re doing. This filly has a very bright future.”
Clairiere returned $6.60 to win, $3 to place, and $2.60 to show. Travel Column brought back $2.40 to place and $2.10 to show. Moon Swag paid $3.60 to show.
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