Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra in serious condition - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra in serious condition

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Rachel Alexandra on the Churchill Downs backside during Derby Week 2009. Rachel Alexandra on the Churchill Downs backside during Derby Week 2009.
Garry Megibben Garry Megibben
Barbara Benke Barbara Benke

LEXINGTON, KY (WAVE) - Rachel Alexandra, 2009 Horse of the Year, is in serious condition at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital after complications from giving birth. Her doctors say it's too early to give a prognosis. Right now they're just happy she made it out of surgery after removing part of her small colon.

Best known for her win at Kentucky Oaks and the Preakness in 2009, Rachel Alexandra won Horse of the Year the same year. She retired in 2010 and already gave birth to one colt by fellow Horse of the Year Curlin in 2012.

On February 12, she gave birth to a filly. Her owner, Barbara Benke, said the pregnancy was easy, it was a tough birth.

"Yesterday afternoon she went off her feet looked a little dull and her breathing was a little labored," said Garry Megibben, manager of Stonestreet Farm.

Doctors opened Rachel up to find bacteria in her stomach that caused blood loss to part of her small colon. They removed that section, along with some of the bacteria. She is back on her feet, but doctors are still trying to clear out the bacteria.

"She looks brighter today, so that makes me happy," said Benke. "It's a day by day, hour by hour type of thing. It's very serious."

Her doctors will also not comment on how this surgery could affect Rachel giving birth again.

"We ask people to send good thoughts and prayers to Rachel," requested Benke.

Benke says Rachel's filly is doing great and ready to run. They've brought in a  nursing mare who has taken well to her.

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