Yes, it’s true, the four-legged Rachel Alexandra — not to be confused with
the lanky, two-legged model Rachel Alexander (although some would argue they’re equally sleek) — posed for a photo spread in Vogue magazine. Photographer Steven Klein, shot the Preakness-winning filly for the magazine’s August issue.
Asked why he thought Vogue would want his filly to pose, the vintner of
Santa Rosa’s Kendall-Jackson winery said because she’s an American heroine, “an inspiration to all women.”
Jackson’s wife, Barbara Banke, who watched the photo shoot at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, said, “It was really interesting because the photographer has shot all kinds of supermodels and celebrities and he’s very artistic.” Klein has photographed Madonna, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, among other celebrities.
Banke said Klein decided to build a wall, plaster it white and photograph the racehorse against it. “We brought her out and posed her against the wall and he kept telling her to ‘hold that pose’ or ‘turn your head to the camera.'” Needless to say, it was challenging 30-minute shoot for the horse not well-versed in English. But Banke said she fed Rachel Alexandre peppermints and oats to help her focus.
The photo shoot was the brainchild of Vogue editor Anna Wintour, inspired by her trip to the Preakness in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 16.
Rachel Alexandra will not run in this Saturday’s Belmont Stakes in New York. “We decided she needed a break,” Banke said. “She’s been racing every two or three weeks since February and it’s a very tough schedule.”
When asked where does the world of wine and racing meet, Banke said, “A lot of people who own race horses own wineries in different parts of the world. I think it’s something to do with it’s a form of agriculture. A lot of the same people are attracted to it.”