Rags to Riches (7), ridden by John Velazquez, won the 139th Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York on Saturday, 9 June 2007. Curlin, ridden by Robby Albarado (background), finished second. Rags to Riches is the first filly to win the Belmont in 102 years since Tanya won in 1905.
Image: Jason DeCrow (AP Photo)
Rags to Riches, the bright chestnut-colored superfilly, beat six colts to win the Belmont Stakes today. Her winning time for the mile-and-a-half race was 2:28.74. The world and track record for this distance, 2:24, was set by one of her famous grandfathers, Secretariat (video), in the Belmont Stakes 34 years ago today.
Rags to Riches overcame a slight stumble as she jumped from the starting gate to become only the third filly to ever win the race. She recovered nicelyt and, after settling comfortably in fourth place on the outside of the pack, Rags to Riches was one of four horses that fought for the lead when they came around the final turn and headed down the homestretch. Two horses faded, leaving Rags to Riches to fight it out with Curlin, the Preakness Stakes winner, who was on the rail. Both horses ran eye-to-eye, challenging each other for the lead, but Rags to Riches pulled ahead of Curlin by half a length. Curlin fought to catch up with her and a pushing match ensued between the dueling rivals, but Rags to Riches prevailed convincingly and won by a head.
Ironically, this was the same margin of victory for Curlin over his nearest rival, Street Sense. Street Sense won the Kentucky Derby five weeks ago and finished second in the Preakness Stakes three weeks ago, but did not start in the Belmont.
"The filly ran a great race on the right day," said Curlin's trainer, Steve Asmussen. "And now they're taking her picture." Curlin finished second.
Rags to Riches (left) and Curlin (right), battle head-to-head for the lead at the end of the Belmont Stakes. Rags to Riches is the third filly to ever win the Belmont Stakes, and the first filly to win the race since Tanya won in 1905.
Image: Keith Bedford (Reuters)
Trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez were both ecstatic with the filly's brilliant win. Neither man had never won any Triple Crown Races until today: Pletcher was 0-for-28, Velazquez 0-for-20. Rags to Riches earned $600,000 for her win, while Curlin took home $200,000. Tiago, who finished a distant third, earned $110,000.
More about Rags to Riches, including a picture and a video.
I am psyched about this. I'd always heard all this talk about how female horses can't win races, but now the way has been paved for all fillies to follow their dreams. The equine feminist movement has had their victory. Look out, Mr. Ed, because Miss Ed is taking the reins! Welcome to Fillidelphia, the Land of Sisterly Love. Are there any female greyhounds in the field? Because I'm sure other animals are going to be inspired by this.
Rags to Riches earned $600,000 for her win, while Curlin took home $200,000.
Peanuts. The real reward for placing in Triple Crown races comes from stud fees, and Rags won't be getting any of those. In a few years Curlin will be getting millions in stud fees and having a great time, while Rags will be 600 cans of Alpo. There are still some prerogatives for being a male, thank God.
Please post follow ups about this filly!