Rags to Riches Makes History: First Filly to Win Belmont in 102 Years
by JOHN LEE (www.nyra.com)
Before a crowd of 46,870 under overcast skies at Belmont Park, Rags to Riches lived up to her breeding and out-gamed favored Curlin by a head to become the first filly to win the Belmont Stakes in 102 years and only the third Belmont Stakes winning filly. The previous winning fillies were Ruthless in 1867 and Tanya in 1905. Nineteen other fillies had previously run in the Belmont Stakes.
With John Velazquez as her rider for the first time, Rags to Riches also gave trainer Todd Pletcher his first win in a Triple Crown race. Rags to Riches completed the mile and a half trip in 2:28.74 and paid her backers $10.60 to win.
By the 1992 Belmont Stakes winner A.P. Indy, himself a son of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, Rags to Riches is also a half-sister to last year’s Belmont Stakes winner Jazil.
The 139th Belmont Stakes highlighted a 13-race card that included five other graded states, including the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes and Manhattan Handicap.
On-track wagering on Belmont Stakes day races, only, totaled $8,843,720 for the 13-race presentation, compared to $8,958,323 in 2006. An additional $712,406 was wagered by the on-track crowd on incoming simulcasts, elevating the total on-track handle to $9,556,126, a record Belmont Day handle when there was no Triple Crown opportunity.
Total all-sources handle for Belmont Stakes day was 75,587,892, compared to $81,465,277 in 2006. All sources handle was down only $5,877,385 while Belmont Stakes-only handle experienced a reduction of $7,319,263, a difference attributable to the five fewer betting interests in 2007 as compared with 2006. Total all-sources handle for the 2007 Belmont Stakes only with a seven-horse field, was $37,786,382, compared to $45,105,645 for the 2006 Belmont Stakes with a 12-horse field.
Rags to Riches was the 22nd filly to run in the Belmont Stakes and the third to win the race. Fillies who have finished in the top three in the Belmont Stakes:
Finish-Horse -Year: 1st Rags to Riches 2007, 1st Tanya 1905, 1st Ruthless 1867, 2nd Genuine Risk 1980, 3rd My Flag 1996, 3rd Flambino 1927, 3rd Flying Fairy 1913, 3rd Midday 1870, 3rd Invercauld 1869, 3rd Fanny Ludlow 1868