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Monday, March 24, 2008

Rags to Riches to Retirement

- “It’s the same injury she had before." So said Todd Pletcher about the hairline pastern fracture which has ended the racing career of Rags to Riches. The four-year old filly provided quite arguably the racing highlight of the century thus far when she held off Curlin in the Belmont. Her failure to remain sound is all the more disappointing when you consider that she was attempting to come back strictly for the sporting aspect; having already proved that she could run with the boys, there were in theory no limits on what her connections could have tried with her. She could have been pointed to the Classic, and thrown a big-time wrench into the Breeders' Cup plans to segregate the girls on Friday.

But though her racing days are over, her legacy can still be enhanced through the exploits of Curlin. The more he accomplishes, starting presumably with this Saturday's World Cup, and the greater he proves to be, Rags to Riches' Belmont victory will seem that much more wondrous and legendary as the years go by.

She may also leave her mark, of course, through her offspring. There are never any guarantees that a great filly will produce similarly talented offspring; but she certainly descends from a prepotent distaff family, so why not? The prospective foal by Giant's Causeway will have quite a lot of inbreeding, which I find is quite typical of high profile matings these days. This one would have both Blushing Groom and Secretariat 4x4, and Northern Dancer 4x5.