Rachel Alexandra bested by Unrivaled Belle in La Troienne [Kentucky Derby]

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Conditioner Bill Mott's Unrivaled Belle with Kent Desormeaux outdueled reigning Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra to win the 25th La Troienne Stakes (GII) by a head at historic Churchill Downs.

Desormeaux was ecstatic with the victory, in which his mount caught last year's Kentucky Oaks winner from the outside at the top of the stretch in the 1 1/16 mile Stakes.

"My mare was breathing fire today," he said. "I feel like the mouse that stole the cheese."

Mott was equally thrilled with the results.

"My filly ran huge, he said. "She just ran great. And I don't think it was that the other mare ran poorly. She ran her race, too. We just outdid her."

For the victory, the four-year-old daughter of Unbridled's Song out of Queenie Belle received $265,659, increasing her lifetime earnings to $524,929 and her record of five wins and two places in her eight starts.

While disappointed in her performance, Rachel Alexandra's trainer Steve Asmussen pointed to progess since her second place finish in the New Orleans Ladies on March 13.

"I think there's some hangover," he said. "What we have to realize is there has been improvement since her last race."

Unrivaled Belle paid 20.80, 3.40, and 2.80. Rachel Alexandra returned 2.10 and 2.10. Third place finisher Morena paid 4.80 to show.

The time was 1:42.97.