Rachel Alexandra, 2009 Horse of the Year and one of the most celebrated mares in the history of Thoroughbred racing, was taken to Rood and Riddle Equine Clinic in Lexington, Ky., late Wednesday for complications related to the birth of a filly sired by Bernardini. She underwent surgery to repair bruising in her small colon, which was injured during foaling. Dr. Brett Woodie performed the surgery and Rachel Alexandra is currently in recovery. A full prognosis cannot be determined at this time, but her condition is serious.

“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,” said owner, Barbara Banke. “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’s 140-pound filly, born Feb. 12, 2013 at 2:30 a.m., is healthy and has returned to the home of her dam, Stonestreet Farm, to be tended by a nurse mare.

Rachel Alexandra’s glorious front-running style took her, and a legion of fans, on a whirlwind 3-year-old campaign in 2009, with eight victories in as many starts, on seven different racetracks, in six states. Seven of her eight victories that year came in graded stakes, including five Grade I races.

She overwhelmed the boys in three Grade I events, including the Preakness Stakes and Haskell Invitational , earning the year’s highest Beyer Speed Figure of 116, and capped her remarkable 3-year-old campaign with an unprecedented victory in the Woodward Stakes at Saratoga against older male horses.

During her historic campaign, Rachel Alexandra set stakes, track and margin of victory records against the winners of many of North America’s most prestigious races. She unseated Ruffian’s margin of victory record in the Mother Goose Stakes, and came close to the Belmont track record set by the Secretariat. Following a season to remember, Rachel Alexandra was named 2009 North American Horse of the Year becoming the first-ever 3-year-old filly to receive the award.

In September 2010, after an impressive 4-year-old season, Rachel Alexandra was retired to Stonestreet Farm with earnings of $3,506,730 and a record from 19 starts of 13 wins, 5 second-place finishes. She delivered her first foal, a 125 pound bay colt by Curlin named Jess’s Dream, on January 22, 2012.