Rags to Riches (foaled February 27, 2004 in Kentucky) is an American thoroughbred filly racehorse. She was sired by 1992 U.S. Horse of the Year and U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee, A.P. Indy, who in turn was a son of 1977 U.S. Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew and, on his dam's side, a grandson of 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat. She was out of the mare Better Than Honour who is a daughter of Canadian Hall of Fame inductee and two-time North American Champion sire, Deputy Minister. Better Than Honour also produced the 2006 Belmont Stakes winner, Jazil.
Bred by Skara Glen Stables, Rags to Riches was purchased for US$1.9 million in September 2005 at the Keeneland Sales by the partnership of Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith. Sent to the track at age two under trainer Todd Pletcher, her first race was a 4½ furlong sprint. She finished fourth, demonstrating that she needed longer distances to get up to speed.
Not brought back to competition until January 2007, Rags to Riches won her first race at Santa Anita Park by six lengths. Ridden by Garrett Gomez, in February she won the 8 furlong Las Virgenes Stakes despite being forced to run five wide for a good part of the race. In March she showed an explosive finishing kick to run away and win by 5½ lengths in the 1 mile Grade I Santa Anita Oaks. Made the betting favorite for the prestigious Grade I Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, she did not disappoint. Once again, Rags to Riches showed a powerful stretch drive in her 4¼ length win, easily pulling away from a field that included the 2006 U.S. Champion 2-Yr-Old Filly and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner, Dreaming of Anna.
On June 5, 2007, the handlers for Rags to Riches announced she would run in the third and longest leg of the U.S. Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes. It was to be her first start against males.
In the race, Rags to Riches stumbled out of the starting gate but recovered to move within easy striking distance of the pacesetters. At the top of the stretch, she and three other horses made a move but quickly she was dueling head-to-head with Preakness Stakes and Horse of the Year winner Curlin. Curlin put his nose in front briefly, but the filly fought back and beat him to the finish line by a head. Rags to Riches' win made her only the third filly to ever win the Belmont and the first since Tanya claimed victory 102 years earlier in 1905, and the first filly to win the race at the current 1½ mile distance at Belmont Park (The race distance has varied: from 1867 until 1873, it was 1⅝ miles (2.6 km). In 1874 the distance was reduced to 1½ miles (2.4 km), and from 1890 to 1892, and in 1895, the distance was 1¼ miles (2 km). From 1896 until 1925, the distance was increased to 1 3/8 miles (2.3 km). In 1926, the race distance was set at the present 1½ miles (2.4 km)).Tanya's win came 38 years after Ruthless captured the inaugural running of the Belmont in 1867.
The call of the race by Belmont Park track announcer Tom Durkin did much to capture the excitement of the scene, as Curlin and Rags to Riches dueled it out in the home stretch.
"Here comes Hard Spun. And Curlin is coming through in between horses! And Rags to Riches is coming with a four-wide sweep! And Tiago is in behind them. And at the top of the stretch, a filly is in front at the Belmont! But Curlin is right there with her! These two, in a battle of the sexes at the Belmont Stakes! It is Curlin on the inside -- Rags to Riches on the outside. A desperate finish: Rags to Riches and Curlin! They're coming down to the wire. It's gonna be very close! And it's gonna be.... a filly in the Belmont! Rags to Riches has beaten Curlin and a hundred years of Belmont history! The first filly to win it in over a century!"
Despite several minor medical problems over the summer, Rags to Riches continued to train at Belmont Park towards the 2007 Breeder's Cup. She made her return to the races in the $250,000 Gazelle Stakes at Belmont Park on September 15th but finished second to Lear's Princess. It was announced the next day, September 16, that X-rays had revealed a hairline fracture in her right front pastern, and that her trainer Todd Pletcher had taken her out of training. She was expected to make a full recovery and return to racing in 2008.
She received several honors at the end of her three-year-old season. Among voters, Rags to Riches was a Teen Choice Award nominee for Choice Female Athletehttp://www.tvsquad.com/2007/07/03/teen-choice-nominees-announced in 2007. She was also named 2007 World Champion 3-year-old filly by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA).
Rags to Riches resumed training at age 4. Then on Monday, March 24, 2008, Todd Pletcher announced that Rags to Riches had re-injured her right front pastern and was retiring. She was sent to Ashford Stud where she was be bred to Giant's Causeway.
Rags To Riches was 56 days pregnant on (5/28/08). Announced on ESPN2.
Rags to Riches' brief but brilliant racing career resulted in five wins in seven starts and $1.3 million in earnings.