Rachel Alexandra won't be going to Arkansas next month to face Zenyatta in their $5 million showdown, leaving racing's other female superstar to take on all comers.
Rachel Alexandra's owner, Jess Jackson, said Sunday that his 2009 horse of the year is not in top form after her defeat in the New Orleans Ladies at the Fair Grounds on Saturday.
So the scheduled meeting between racing's top female horses is off, leaving the spotlight to Zenyatta (15-0) on April 9 in the Apple Blossom Invitational at Oaklawn Park.
"(Saturday's) race, while a disappointment, helped us define Rachel Alexandra's racing condition," Jackson said of his horse's first loss since going 8-0 as a 3-year-old last year. "While she is healthy, just as I had anticipated, she is not in top form."
Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta were making their first starts of the year Saturday in what were supposed to be prep races for next month's event, which saw its purse raised to $5 million from $500,000 only if both horses started. Zenyatta did her part in winning the Santa Margarita Handicap at Santa Anita.
Zenyatta's co-owner Jerry Moss said his 6-year-old mare will keep her schedule.