LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Rachel Alexandra remains in 'very serious' condition after undergoing surgery Wednesday following complications from giving birth.
The 2009 Horse of the Year gave birth to a 140-pound filly at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday at Stonestreet Farm outside of Lexington, then was taken to Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington to repair a bruised area in her small colon.
During a press conference this afternoon attending surgeon Dr. Brett Woodie said the 7-year-old mare is "doing as well as could be expected," but she remains in a serious medical situation.
A statement from Stonestreet Farm explained:
"Surgery identified that the cause of the infection was a section of the small colon that had lost its blood supply due to an injury during foaling causing bacteria to be released into the abdomen. The damaged section of intestine was removed and extensive abdominal lavage was performed to remove inflammatory cells and bacteria. Due to the nature and the extent of the problem the surgery was long and technically demanding but recovery from anesthesia was uncomplicated.
"Rachel Alexandra is currently receiving IV antibiotics, IV fluids, anti-inflammatory agents, IV nutrition and medications to counteract the effects of bacterial toxins. Medications are also being administered to aid in the prevention of scar tissue in the abdominal cavity. A standing abdominal lavage utilizing abdominal drains placed at surgery is also being performed several times a day.
"Her condition is very serious but it is too early to give an accurate prognosis"
Late Wednesday, owner Barbara Banke said, "We are solely focused on making sure Rachel is as comfortable as possible. She is showing the same strength and courage now that she demonstrated on the track. Our hearts are broken by this turn of events and I can only ask that you send your thoughts and prayers to Rachel now."
Rachel Alexandra won the Kentucky Oaks and Preakness in 2009, the first filly to win the second leg of the Triple Crown in 85 years. She gave birth to a colt by 2007 and '08 Horse of the Year Curlin in January of last year.