Horseracing

Rachel Alexandra's health improving

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP)

Rachel Alexandra continues to make ''better than expected'' progress from abdominal surgery.

Vital signs are normal for the 2009 Horse of the Year, whose trademark spirit has also returned judging from the occasional nip at her handlers. Rachel Alexandra is grazing and being hand walked several times a day, and veterinarians are pleased with her progress.

She underwent surgery at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital on Feb. 13 after developing foaling complications from delivering a 140-pound filly by Bernardini. A section of small colon that lost blood and formed bacteria during foaling was removed.

Rachel Alexandra has steadily improved since then. Intravenous fluids and nutrition were removed on Saturday after her appetite returned.

Rood & Riddle veterinarian Bonnie Barr credits the champion mare's strong will and intelligence for her recovery.

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