Sunshine Roast: Sweet and balanced with tangy citric acidity and a smooth mouthfeel; chocolate, green grape, almond and an herbal aftertaste.
When a filly costs $1.9 million as a yearling, expectations run high. Yet Rags to Riches soared beyond those initial hopes by becoming only the 3rd filly in racing history to win the classic Belmont Stakes. Rags to Riches' plotted out racing career is a textbook example of how to improve a catalog page. When she sold at the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2005, she attracted seven figures by her looks and as a daughter of A.P. Indy out of Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) winner Better Than Honour. Second dam Blush With Pride numbered the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) among her wins and had produced three stakes winners, but Better Than Honour had only one minor winner at that time.
If $1.9 million for a yearling can ever look like a bargain, Rags to Riches may have been a steal. Two years later, Rags to Riches is a half-sister to Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Jazil and became a grade I winner herself after only three starts. But we get ahead of ourselves.
Rags to Riches racing career began with lofty expectations but it didn't provide immediate celebration as she finished a well beaten 4th going 5 1/2 furlongs in June of her 2 year old year. Given time to further grow into herself Rags to Riches didn't face the starter again until Jan. 7, just into her 3 year old season at Santa Anita. The added time to mature and added distance showed Rags to Riches to be the horse everyone saw in the yearling sales ring. She broke her maiden by an easy six lengths at seven furlongs. Garrett Gomez was aboard for this maiden win. That effort not only propelled her into the Las Virgenes, but the ease of her maiden victory made her the favorite over seven stakes winners, including graded winners Romance Is Diane, Cash Included, Jump On It, and Baroness Thatcher.
From her win in the Las Virgenes Rags to Riches next won impressive victories in the G1 Santa Anita Oaks, by 5 1/2 lengths and the G1 Kentucky Oaks, by 4 1/2 lengths. These victories led trainer Todd Pletcher to believe Rags to Riches was one of the rare fillies capable of taking on the boys. Rags to Riches would be entered in the Classic G1 Belmont Stakes. Her date with destiny would not bring an easy task however. The Belmont Stakes field brought together G1 Santa Anita Derby winner, Tiago, Classic G1 Preakness Stakes winner (and future Horse of the Year) Curlin and multiple Classic placed (G1 Kentucky Derby 2nd and G1 Preakness Stakes 3rd) and G2 winner Hard Spun.
In her hard fought nose victory over Curlin, Rags to Riches became Queen of the Sport of Kings. She became only the third filly to win the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the Triple Crown and the longest, oldest race of the prestigious triad. Only 21 fillies before her raced at Belmont, the last being Silverbulletday, who finished seventh in 1999. It had been more than a century since Tanya's victory in 1905 and even longer since Ruthless first made history in 1867. Her impressive body of work saw Rags to Riches easily earn honors as the champion 3-year-old filly of 2007 with five wins from six starts.
Rags to Riches in considered one of the top races fillies in Horse Racing history. "She'll always have a special place in my heart," said jockey Garrett Gomez
, who rode Rags to Riches to victory in the Santa Anita Oaks and the Kentucky Oaks.
Special thanks to Coolmore America, for their support of our efforts in allowing us to honor Rags to Riches.
All photographs presented here have been gathered from publicly available sources. All commercial rights are reserved to the original copyright holder. Equo Vitae Foundation and Erie Coffee Roasters make no claim of rights or protections to any of the photographs presented