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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Rags to Riches: First Filly to Win Belmont Stakes in 102 Years!

It was an historic day at Belmont Park today. Rags to Riches, one of the most regally bred horses racing in America today, proved that breeding will out as she duelled Preakness winner Curlin and burst across the wire to win the 1.5 mile classic, one of the last long-distance races on dirt in the USA. She's the first filly to win the race in more than 100 years, and the very first of her sex to win the race at the longer distance. The race was formerly run at a shorter distance.

R2R is by leading US sire AP Indy, himself a winner of the Belmont, and a son of Seattle Slew, who won the Belmont as part of his Triple Crown in 1977. But if you look on the other side of her pedigree, she is out of Better Than Honour, by Deputy Minister. Better Than Honour is also the dam of last year's Belmont winner, Jazil. That is one valuable broodmare!

Read all about it and watch the video on the Thoroughbred Times site. Photo by Z above, links to Thoroughbred Times.

I don't know anything about her feet yet but I know that she, like most of Todd Pletcher's trainees in the Northeast, was surely shod by Ray Amato at his home base at Belmont. I had the pleasure of meeting the filly in April at Keeneland, shortly before her win in the Kentucky Oaks. Thanks to her therapist, Dianne Volz, and her groom, Isabel Aguilar, for introducing me.

This was Todd Pletcher's first victory in a Triple Crown race. To do it in such a dramatic way, with a filly beating the colts, is a great way to break a curse.

I'm still hoarse from screaming!

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