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Mar 28, 2008

Rags to Riches forced into retirement


Hallandale Beach, FL (Sports Network) - Rags to Riches, 2007 Belmont Stakes champ, has been retired due to a hairline fracture. Trainer Todd Pletcher made the announcement on Monday.

Pletcher said that the same hairline fracture that put the filly on the shelf last September is the reason for the retirement. Rags to Riches sustained a hairline fracture of the right front pastern when she finished second to Lears Princess in the Gazelle Stakes at Belmont Park.

"She has re-injured her right front pastern and because of the timing," Pletcher said, "the decision was made to retire her as opposed to trying to bring her back in the fall. It's a sad day for racing and all of her fans. She will go down in the history books as one of the best fillies ever to run."

"She'll always have a special place in my heart," said Garrett Gomez, who rode her to victory in the Santa Anita and Kentucky Oaks last year. "Even though I didn't ride her in the Belmont, it meant a lot to know I was part of her success."

Owned by Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, Rags to Riches became the third filly to win the Belmont Stakes over eventual Horse of the Year Curlin. She was voted champion three-year-old filly for 2007.

"She is a lovely mare and we feel she will cross with him very well," said Tabor about Rags to Riches being bred to Giant's Causeway.

Rags to Riches won five of seven career starts for $1,342,528.

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