#FillyFriday: Rags to Riches Wins ’07 Belmont

If you’re gonna #FightLikeAGirl, may we recommend Rags to Riches?

It didn’t look an auspicious beginning for the sole filly in the 2007 Belmont Stakes field: Rags to Riches, saddled by Todd Pletcher and piloted by John Velazquez, stumbled right out of the gate. Already behind, the filly settled in mid-pack and rode out the slow early fractions, lurking among illustrious company including Curlin and Hard Spun.

In such a race as the Belmont, however, it can pay to wait — staying patient, Rags to Riches and Velazquez let the race play out. Moving through the turn, three horses moved in unison: Curlin, Hard Spun and the filly, overtaking tiring leader CP West.

Hard Spun faded, leaving the two chestnuts to it: first Rags to Riches had her head in front, then Curlin, then the filly again. Moving in tandem, they fought stride for stride, all the way to the wire, in an impossible yet thrilling finish.

That was a feat that hadn’t been accomplished in over a century: Rags to Riches earned her spot in sports history. This is certainly on my personal list of favorite moments from the storied Belmont Stakes! What are your favorites?

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