Rags to Riches OK; Returns to Training

Rags to Riches OK; Returns to Training
Photo: Jeffrey Snyder
Belmont winner Rags to Riches is ready to resume training.
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Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Rags to Riches was declared fit and ready to resume training July 30 with a start in the Alabama Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 18 still a possibility.

The first filly in 102 years to win the Belmont galloped at Belmont Park July 30, and trainer Todd Pletcher said Rags to Riches will gallop again July 31 before being shipped to Saratoga.

“She'll resume training and we'll go from there,” Pletcher said outside his Saratoga barn after receiving the news from Dr. Paul Thorpe, the attending veterinarian for the filly's owners Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith. “Like I said all along, I knew there was nothing dramatically wrong the filly. Obviously, we are going to take every precaution we could, and we have.”

Rags to Riches missed two scheduled workouts, one because of a slight fever two weeks ago, the other on July 22 after she was pulled up at the start of a five-furlong breeze because her exercise rider said she felt something wasn't quite right.

“Dr. Thorpe didn't feel like he saw anything on any of the tests that would indicate any problems with her going back to training,” Pletcher said. “We did a complete physical and everything checked out.”

Over the past week, Rags to Riches underwent a series of tests, including a two-day stay at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa. Thorpe reviewed those results, then conducted his own tests before clearing Rags to Riches to head back to the track.

“The Alabama is a possibility,” Pletcher said, adding he would be at Belmont to supervise the gallop. “I need to watch her train for the next week and obviously how she breezes. All of that is going to be critical in terms of what has become a tight schedule. I'll play that by ear for the remainder of the week and go from there.”

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