Labor Day weekend is closing weekend at Saratoga and the feature race on Saturday was the $750,000 Woodward Stakes (G1), with an afternoon crowd of 31,171 enjoying sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 70's. Preakness and Haskell winner Rachel Alexandra was sent off as the 3-10 favorite in the field of 8, trying to become the first 3-year-old filly to win this race for older horses prepping for the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Breeders' Cup Classic. In to challenge her included 8-1 second choice Macho Again, second in the Whitney Handicap after winning the Stephen Foster, and 11-1 third choice Asiatic Boy, second in both the Stephen Foster and the Suburban Handicap.
Da' Tara was sent to the lead by Jose Lezcano but jockey Calvin Borel hustled Rachel Alexandra to challenge him entering the backstretch. The pair dueled through fractions of 22.85, 45.41, and 1:10.54. Da 'Tara tired badly on the turn and was eased, as Rachel Alexandra drew away, opening up a 1 1/2 length lead in mid-stretch through 1 mile in 1:35.48. 14-1 Bullsbay moved up to challenge but was turned away, and then Macho Again, last early, closed strongly for his bid for the win. However, in the final 1/16, Rachel Alexandra fought him off to get the hard-fought victory by a head in 1:48.29 over the fast surface. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to Bullsbay third.
Also on the card: the Forego Stakes
On Monday of closing weekend were the Hopeful Stakes and Glens Falls Handicap
On Sunday were the Spinaway and Saranac Stakes
On Friday was the With Anticipation Stakes