Race Injury Sidelines Belmont-Winning Filly Until 2008

Trainer Todd Pletcher announced Sept. 16 that Rags to Riches suffered a hairline fracture to her right front pastern during Saturday's Gazelle Stakes, but that the injury is not career-ending.

"She is expected to make a full recovery," Pletcher said. "It appears as though she sustained the injury during the stretch run. When she switched to the right lead, she came off the bridle and lugged in a bit. Though she cooled out fine following the race, she appeared to be slightly off this morning. Subsequent X rays revealed the hairline fracture.

"She is resting comfortably and will be shipped to Ashford Stud tomorrow, where she will receive six weeks of stall rest to give the fracture time to heal. At the conclusion of her convalescence, she will be re-X rayed to determine when she will resume training. She will not race again until 2008."

Rags to Riches, following grade I victories in the Las Virgenes, Santa Anita Oaks, and Kentucky Oaks, earned her way into the history books by becoming the first filly since 1905 to win the Belmont Stakes, in which she out-battled Preakness winner Curlin to win by a head.

But the race apparently took its toll on her. She was forced to endure an eventful 3 1/2-month layoff that saw her come down with a fever on two occasions and was pulled up shortly after the start of a workout. A complete examination at New Bolton Medical Center, and a follow-up examination by Paul Thorpe, DVM, the attending veterinarian for owners Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, revealed no physical problems, and she was put back in training.

Not only did she miss several important works during her layoff, she also was forced to skip the Coaching Club American Oaks and Alabama Stakes. She finally was able to make it back to the races in the Gazelle, but was upset by Lear's Princess, falling a half-length short as the 2-5 favorite.

Rags to Riches, who was purchased at the Keeneland September yearling sale for $1,900,000, has five victories in seven starts with earnings of $1,342,528.

(Originally published at bloodhorse.com.)

About the Author

Steve Haskin

Steve Haskin is Senior Contributor to The Blood-Horse magazine, sister publication to The Horse.

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