Rags to Riches (horse)

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Rags to Riches
Rags to Riches.jpg
Rags to Riches in the paddock area at Belmont Park during the day of the Belmont Stakes
(June 9, 2007)
Sire A.P. Indy
Grandsire Seattle Slew
Dam Better Than Honour
Damsire Deputy Minister
Sex Filly
Foaled 2004
Country United States
Colour Chestnut
Breeder Skara Glen Stables
Owner Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith
Trainer Todd Pletcher
Record 7: 5-1-0
Earnings $1,340,028
Major wins

Las Virgenes Stakes (2007)
Santa Anita Oaks (2007)
Kentucky Oaks (2007)

Triple Crown race wins:
Belmont Stakes (2007)
NTRA "Moment of the Year" (2007)
World Champion 3-year-old Filly (2007)
American Champion Three-Year-Old Filly (2007)
Last updated on September 22, 2007

Rags to Riches (foaled February 27, 2004, in Kentucky) is an American thoroughbred racehorse who in 2007 became the first filly to win the Belmont Stakes in over a century.


Rags to Riches is a chestnut mare sired by 1992 U.S. Horse of the Year and U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee A.P. Indy. She was out of the mare Better Than Honour, who also produced the 2006 Belmont Stakes winner, Jazil.

Bred by Skara Glen Stables, Rags to Riches was purchased for US$1.9 million in September 2005 at the Keeneland Sales by the partnership of Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith.

Racing career[edit]

Early races[edit]

Sent to the track at age two under trainer Todd Pletcher, Rags to Riches made her first start in a 4½ furlong sprint, finishing fourth.

Brought back to competition in January 2007, she won her first race at Santa Anita Park by six lengths. Ridden by Garrett Gomez, in February she won the 8 furlong Las Virgenes Stakes after running five wide for a good part of the race. In March, she drew away to win the 1 mile Grade I Santa Anita Oaks by 5½ lengths. Made the betting favorite for the prestigious Grade I Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, she won by 4¼ lengths over a field that included the 2006 U.S. Champion 2-Yr-Old Filly and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner, Dreaming of Anna.

Belmont Stakes[edit]

On June 5, 2007, the handlers of Rags to Riches announced that she would run in the third and longest leg of the U.S. Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes. It was her first start against males.

In the race, Rags to Riches stumbled out of the starting gate but recovered to move within striking distance of the pacesetters. At the top of the stretch, she dueled head-to-head with Preakness Stakes and eventual Horse of the Year winner Curlin. Curlin put his nose in front briefly, but the filly fought back and beat him to the finish line by a head. Rags to Riches' win made her only the third filly to ever win the Belmont and the first since Tanya in 1905. She was also the first filly to win the race at the current 1½ mile distance at Belmont Park. (The race distance has varied: from 1867 until 1873, it was 1 58 miles (2.6 km). In 1874, the distance was reduced to 1 12 miles (2.4 km), and from 1890 to 1892, and in 1895, the distance was 1 14 miles (2.0 km). From 1896 until 1925, the distance was increased to 1 38 miles (2.2 km). In 1926, the race distance was set at the present 1 12 miles (2.4 km)).Tanya's win came 38 years after Ruthless captured the inaugural running of the Belmont in 1867.

Belmont Park track announcer Tom Durkin called the race:

"Here comes Hard Spun. And Curlin is coming through in between horses! And Rags to Riches is coming with a four-wide sweep! And Tiago is in behind them. And at the top of the stretch, a filly is in front at the Belmont! But Curlin is right there with her! These two, in a battle of the sexes at the Belmont Stakes! It is Curlin on the inside – Rags to Riches on the outside. A desperate finish: Rags to Riches and Curlin! They're coming down to the wire. It's gonna be very close! And it's gonna be.... a filly in the Belmont! Rags to Riches has beaten Curlin and a hundred years of Belmont history! The first filly to win it in over a century!"

Later 2007 season[edit]

Rags to Riches in the paddock area at Belmont Park

Despite several minor medical problems over the summer, Rags to Riches continued to train at Belmont Park towards the 2007 Breeder's Cup. She made her return to the races in the $250,000 Gazelle Stakes at Belmont Park on September 15 and finished second to Lear's Princess. It was announced the next day, September 16, that X-rays had revealed a hairline fracture in her right front pastern, and that her trainer, Todd Pletcher, had taken her out of training. She was expected to make a full recovery and return to racing in 2008.

Rags to Riches received several honors at the end of her three-year-old season. Among voters, she was a Teen Choice Award nominee for Choice Female Athlete [1] in 2007. She was also named 2007 World Champion 3-year-old filly by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA).

2008 Season[edit]

Rags to Riches resumed training at age 4. Then, on March 24, 2008, Todd Pletcher announced that she had re-injured her right front pastern and was retiring. Rags to Riches' career resulted in five wins in seven starts and $1.3 million in earnings.

Retirement and stud[edit]

She was sent to Ashford Stud in Versailles, Kentucky where she had her first foal and was exported to Ireland in 2009. None of her produce have won or placed in any races.[2]

Rags to Riches is scheduled to be bred to American Pharoah during the 2016 breeding season. If she successfully conceives and carries to term, the resulting foal will be the first to have both parents be Belmont Stakes winners.

Her progeny to date include:

  • Opulence (foaled March 9, 2009), chestnut filly sired by Giant's Causeway. Opulence did not race.
  • Admirer (foaled March 17, 2010 in Ireland), bay colt by Henrythenavigator. Did not place in one career start.
  • Rhett Butler (foaled March 26, 2011 in Ireland), chestnut colt sired by Galileo.[3] Did not place in two starts.
  • Rich and Righteous (foaled April 18, 2012 in Ireland), bay colt sired by Galileo. Unplaced in one start.
  • Bay colt by Galileo (2013).
  • Chestnut filly by Galileo (2014).


Pedigree of Rags to Riches
A.P. Indy
Seattle Slew Bold Reasoning Boldnesian
Reason To Earn
My Charmer Poker
Fair Charmer
Weekend Surprise Secretariat Bold Ruler
Lassie Dear Buckpasser
Gay Missile
Better Than Honour
Deputy Minister Vice Regent Northern Dancer
Victoria Regina
Mint Copy Bunty's Flight
Blush With Pride Blushing Groom Red God
Runaway Bride
Best In Show Traffic Judge
Stolen Hour


  1. ^ http://www.tvsquad.com/2007/07/03/teen-choice-nominees-announced
  2. ^ Staff. "Mare Produce Records- Rags to Riches". Equineline.com. The Jockey Club Information Systems, Inc. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "Charging to the Kentucky Derby". Bloodhorse.com. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 

External links[edit]