Unbridled Belle has lived in the shadow of her more illustrious stablemates for most of her career. But when Todd Pletcher trainees Rags to Riches, Indian Vale, Panty Raid, and Octave stepped out of the spotlight, the grade I-winning Broken Vow filly got her chance to shine.
Garrett Gomez, the leading jockey in the nation by purses earned, was scheduled to return to riding Oct. 4 but took off his mounts another day after an Oct. 3 incident at Belmont Park resulted in his hospitalization.
He may not have a Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner or a Horse of the Year in his barn at this point, but Kiaran McLaughlin has secured the position every trainer would like to hold leading up to the Oct. 26-27 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Monmouth Park.
Many have attempted to dethrone racing's supreme monarch, Rags to Riches, this year, from the fairest of maidens to the bravest of knights. They all failed. But then, in the Sept. 15 Gazelle Stakes (gr. I), came a stately, kindhearted damsel named Lear's Princess, who dared to look the "Belle of Belmont" in the eye.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Rags to Riches, with Angel Cordero Jr. aboard, took to the Belmont Park main track at daybreak Sept. 8 to work in preparation for a start in the Sept. 15 Gazelle Handicap (gr. I).
Only days after a record-breaking Saratoga meet ended, the 33-day Belmont Park Fall Championship Meeting stand kicks off Sept. 7 with the 25th running of the $100,000-added General Douglas MacArthur, a one-mile test for older New York-breds.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Rags to Riches worked five furlongs Sept. 2 in 1:02 3/5 at Saratoga, getting her training schedule under way after missing a work last week due to a slightly elevated temperature.
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 Aug. 30.
After a postponed Aug. 26 work due to wet track conditions, Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Rags to Riches took another step back in her training program when trainer Todd Pletcher canceled an Aug. 27 workout due to the filly's elevated temperature.
There was the rubber match between Street Sense and Curlin in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Didn't Happen. There was the showdown between the two in the Travers Stakes (gr. I). Not going to happen. There was Rags to Riches headlining Lady's Day at Belmont for the CCA Oaks (gr. I). Didn't Happen. There was Rags in the Saratoga limelight for the Alabama. Not going to happen.
Belmont Stakes 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 1 winner Octave and American Oaks (gr. I) winner Panty Raid, both of whom also worked Aug. 12, in the 1 1/4-mile Alabama.
It was exactly noon when the Brook Ledge van came to a stop at the loading ramp on the Oklahoma training track, a short distance from Todd Pletcher's barn. Arriving from Belmont Park following the four-hour ride was the queen of American racing, Rags to Riches. This was a scene many thought would never be played out.
Few horses live up to their name as well as Blush With Pride. Already one of Blushing Groom's best racing daughter with four graded stakes victories, the daughter of Best in Show has gone to excel as a producer, especially when crossed with the Northern Dancer line.
Rags To Riches, this year's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner, returned to Todd Pletcher's barn at Belmont Park July 27 following a two-day complete physical exam at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine's New Bolton Center.
The Super Derby at Harrah's Louisiana Downs will double in value to $1 million if Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Street Sense, Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Curlin, or Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Rags to Riches participate in the Sept. 22 race.
2007 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winning trainer Todd Pletcher will be honored by the Center for Disability Services at the 14th annual RJ Valente Siro's Cup at Siro's Restaurant in Saratoga Springs on the eve of opening day at Saratoga Race Course.
With Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Rags to Riches expected to make her next start in the July 21 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) at Belmont Park, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced July 13 that live coverage of the race has been added to the TV series "NTRA Summer Racing - Powered by Dodge."
All the superlatives and accolades have been written. The 139th Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and the performance of Rags to Riches will forever be a part of Triple Crown lore, and will go down as one of the sport's greatest moments. But it was not all about one horse. There is another who deserves near-equal billing for his remarkable accomplishments.
By Ray Paulick - What fans got this year were three incredible horse races that ended with three very accomplished and deserving winners, punctuated by the history-making performance of Rags to Riches, the first filly winner of the Belmont since Tanya in 1905.
By Dan Liebman - Sure, this is no Bobby Riggs versus Billy Jean King but that's what marketing is all about -- taking something people aren't sure they care about and making them realize they should care about it.
Rags to Riches, who became the queen of racing after she outfought the imposing Curlin in Saturday's 139th Belmont Stakes (gr. I), came out of the race no worse for wear in spite of a bad stumble at the start.
A.P. Indy, the sire of Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Rags to Riches, and Smart Strike, the sire of runner-up Curlin, both stand at Lane's End Farm along with Pleasant Tap, the sire of third finisher Tiago, and Came Home, the sire of fifth finisher C P West.