Rags to Riches to Skip Alabama; Will Train for Ruffian Instead

Rags to Riches to Skip Alabama; Will Train for Ruffian Instead
Photo: Skip Dickstein
Rags to Riches (working last weekend) is pointing toward September's Ruffian Stakes.

Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Rags to Riches posted a five-furlong workout over Saratoga’s main track Aug. 12, after which trainer Todd Pletcher confirmed the Michael Tabor-owned filly will not run in the $600,000 Alabama Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 18.

Instead, Pletcher plans to run multiple grade I winner Octave and American Oaks (gr. IT) winner Panty Raid, both of whom also worked Aug. 12, in the 1 1/4-mile Alabama. Octave breezed five furlongs in 1:00.46. Panty Raid handled the same distance in :59.67 seconds, which was the second best work for that distance.

Rags to Riches, with retired Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr. aboard, was caught in 1:02.11 in her second workout since coming to Saratoga nearly two weeks ago. Pletcher said he will train Rags to Riches up to the $300,000 Ruffian Stakes (gr. I) for fillies 3-years-old and up at 1 1/16 miles at Belmont Park Sept. 8.

Pletcher’s ultimate goal for Rags to Riches is the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Monmouth Park, where she is likely to run in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) for fillies and mares at nine furlongs.

“I thought Rags to Riches went well,” said Pletcher. “We missed too much time. It’s August 12 and she’s not ready to run on August 18. I didn’t want to push the issue. I’m disappointed that she won’t get to run here, and I’m sure there are people who would have loved to see her run. Timing-wise, it’s not going to happen. Right now, we’re primarily focused on what is best for the filly."

In other news from Pletcher’s barn, Lawyer Ron put in a quick five-furlong workout Aug. 12 for the first time since winning the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) July 28. With Cordero aboard, Lawyer Ron breezed in :59.68 seconds as he prepared for the $500,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Sept. 1.

“He’s in really good form right now,” Pletcher said. “He’s full of himself. He went quicker than we wanted, but that’s because he’s doing so well right now.”

Also working at Belmont for Pletcher was The Green Monkey, who went five furlongs in 1:00.62, breezing. Pletcher said “it will be close” whether the $16-million colt will run by the end of the Saratoga meet.

Pletcher suggested The Leopard, who edged Immortal Eyes by a half-length in 1:09.80 for six furlongs in his second start, will likely be pointed for the $250,000 Futurity Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-olds at seven furlongs at Belmont Sept. 15.

“I thought it was a good race, and the time was fast,” Pletcher said. “Those two horses separated themselves from the third-place horse. I liked the way he finished up. It was a big effort.”

Pletcher also indicated that English Channel, Sunriver, Red Giant and Honey Ryder came out of their respective races with no problems.

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