Trainer Todd Pletcher reported this morning that Rags to Riches, the first filly to win the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in 102 years, has had her temperature drop to normal levels and will likely head back to the track at Saratoga Aug. 30.
Pletcher originally planned to work Rags to Riches Aug. 26, but opted to wait until Aug. 27 because the track was wet. That morning, however, Rags to Riches was running a slight temperature and Pletcher decided to keep her in the barn.
“Her temperature is normal, her blood work was normal, she rode under tack this morning and she will go back to the track tomorrow,” Pletcher said Aug. 29. “She’ll probably breeze Saturday or Sunday (Sept. 1 or 2), and then I’ll make a decision on whether that’s going to have her ready for the Ruffian, or if I need one more work to have her ready for the Gazelle.”
The missed work last weekend was another setback for Rags to Riches, who skipped her last scheduled start when a temperature knocked her out of the Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I). The day after the CCA Oaks, Pletcher sent Rags to Riches out for a five-furlong work, but she was pulled up early into the session. A complete physical examination at New Bolton Center revealed no physical damage to the filly, but the time she missed training removed her from consideration for the Aug. 19 Alabama Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, which was won by Carl Nafzger trainee Lady Joanne.
Rags to Riches’ next start will either be in the $300,000 Ruffian (gr. I) Sept. 8 at Belmont Park against older horses or the $250,000 Gazelle (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies Sept. 15. Pletcher called Rags to Riches “50-50” to run in the Ruffian. If she does not make that race, then she would almost certainly run in the Gazelle, barring another setback.