Rachel Alexandra changed stalls at Churchill Downs in Louisville early Thursday morning, and the reverberations blew through the Preakness Stakes posthaste.
No sooner had Stonestreet Stables purchased the precocious 3-year-old filly than new owner Jess Jackson was fielding questions about a possible run at the $1 million Preakness on May 16.
Jackson was noncommittal after moving Rachel Alexandra into trainer Steve Asmussen's barn. The ambiguity left Chip Woolley, trainer for the Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, wondering whether he needed a jockey for the second leg of the Triple Crown.
"We're just waiting to see what's going to happen," Woolley said during a teleconference.
One day after Calvin Borel rode Rachel Alexandra to a dominating, 20 1/4 -length victory in the Kentucky Oaks last Friday, he was aboard Mind That Bird for a historic upset in the Kentucky Derby.
If he has to choose between the two for the Preakness, Borel said he'll choose the filly.
"I'd have no choice," he told reporters Thursday at Churchill Downs. "She's a once-in-a-lifetime horse."
If Jackson opts to enter Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness, he would have to pay a $100,000 supplemental fee because the horse was not nominated to the Triple Crown series in the first two rounds earlier in the year.
She still could get bumped from the field if 14 horses already nominated choose to run. The Preakness has a limit of 14 starters.
Jackson could run the filly in the Belmont Stakes. But until he makes a decision, the Preakness field will have to live with the idea Rachel Alexandra will head for Pimlico Race Course.
Even so, there is a lingering question about the competition Rachel Alexandra has faced.
Tom McCarthy, owner/breeder of General Quarters, raised that point after his horse galloped in Louisville.
"I went back and looked over the Oaks field and it didn't look like she was facing the quality of competition that she will face in the Preakness," he said.
David Fawkes, trainer of Big Drama, said he hasn't seen a filly as good as Rachel Alexandra in "recent years," but also questioned her competition. "I don't know if she's caught the best horses yet," he said.
Notes: : Trainer Larry Jones will ship Friesan Fire to Pimlico on Monday and decide whether to run him in the Preakness after a workout Tuesday. ... Laurel-based Tone It Down, third in last week's Tesio Stakes at Pimlico, is possible for the Preakness. ... Edgar Prado, who won 24 riding titles in Maryland during the 1990s, will ride Take the Points in the Preakness.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Pimlico Race Course
Post time: Approximately 6:18 p.m.
TV: 4:30 p.m., chs. 11, 4