One year ago, Rags to Riches was a superstar on the racetrack and the favorite to win the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). Today, she is an expectant mother spending her retirement days at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky.
Rags to Riches, owned by Michael Tabor, an associate of Coolmore Stud principal John Magnier, and trained by Todd Pletcher, was retired from racing March 24, and has been bred to Ashford stallion Giant's Causeway . She has been determined to be in-foal.
The beautiful, chestnut filly with the large white blaze has maintained her feisty attitude even in retirement. “She’s mellowed out a lot, but things are much easier if we just do things her way” was the resounding comment when asked if the daughter of A.P. Indy had settled down since arriving at the farm.
Rags to Riches’ day isn’t unlike that of any other mare on a farm. After having breakfast, she is turned out alone in a large paddock from around 7 a.m. to mid-afternoon, and then she is brought back inside the barn, where she is again fed. Rags to Riches will receive a paddock buddy in the near future as she is eased into farm life.
In 2007, in addition to winning the Kentucky Oaks, Rags to Riches made history when she became only the third filly to win the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), and the first to do so in 102 years. Rags to Riches out-dueled eventual 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin in a breathtaking stretch run to capture the third leg of the Triple Crown. She had five wins from six starts in 2007 and amassed career earnings of $1,340,028. She was honored with the Eclipse Award for outstanding 3-year-old filly of 2007.
Rags to Riches was sidelined last September after suffering a hairline fracture to her right front pastern during the running of the Gazelle Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park. She returned to Pletcher's barn at Palm Beach Downs earlier this year, where she resumed training before re-injuring herself.
By A.P. Indy , Rags to Riches is out of the grade II-winning Deputy Minister mare Better Than Honour, the 2007 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year. A $1.9-million Keeneland September sale yearling, Rags to Riches is a half-sister to 2006 Belmont winner Jazil (by Seeking the Gold).
The other Oaks winners of this decade have all settled into their new careers as broodmares. Below is a list of the past seven Oaks winners and their locations.
2006—Lemons Forever (Lemon Drop Kid —Critikola, by Tough Critic) sold for $2.5 million at the 2007 Keeneland November mixed sale to Charles Fipke. She is kept at Darby Dan Farm and is currently in foal to Perfect Soul.
2005—Summerly (Summer Squall—Here I Go, by Mr. Prospector) sold for $3.3 million to Bill Casner and Kenny Troutt’s WinStar Farm at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale. She foaled a Distorted Humor colt this year and is back in foal to that farm stallion.
2004—Ashado (Saint Ballado—Goulash, by Mari’s Book) sold for $9 million to Sheikh Mohammed at the 2005 Keeneland November sale. Kept at Darley near Lexington, Ashado has a yearling Storm Cat colt and did not produce a foal for 2008. She is currently in foal to Street Cry for 2009.
2003—Bird Town (Cape Town—Dear Birdie, by Storm Bird). Owned by Marylou Whitney, Bird Town is the dam of four foals, including a Bernardini colt produced this year. Bird Town is kept at the Beck family’s Gainesway Farm and has been bred to Awesome Again .
2002—Farda Amiga (Broad Brush—Fly North, by Pleasant Colony). Owned by Winners Silk and Old Friends and kept at the Taylor family’s Taylor Made Farm near Nicholasville, Ky., Farda Amiga is due to foal an offspring by Storm Catany day and has been booked to Smart Strike.
2001—Flute (Seattle Slew—Rouguer, by Blushing Groom). Owned by Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms, Flute is the dam of six foals, including a yearling Empire Maker filly. She foaled a Maria’s Mon filly this year. She is currently in foal to Gone West.
2000—Secret Status (A.P. Indy—Private Status, by Alydar). Secret Status is the dam of six foals, including Objectivity (by Storm Cat) who was purchased by Sheikh Mohammed for $6.3 million at the 2005 Keeneland September yearling sale. She is also the dam of Dunkirk (by Unbridled's Song), who was purchased by Irish bloodstock agent Demi O’Byrne for $3.7 million at the 2007 Keeneland September sale. Neither colt has started. Secret Status, kept by her owner, William S. Farish, at his Lane’s End Farm, has a yearling Ghostzapper colt and produced a Dynaformer colt this year. She is in foal to Unbridled’s Song.