Kentucky Oaks: Rags to Riches so classy
by Geir Stabell (email@example.com) / Globeform (http://www.globeform.com)
Published: 2007-05-02 10:21:57
Churchill Downs: Rags to Riches, coming off a Grade One double at Santa Anita, where she has been looking quite special, will be hard to beat in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on Friday.
She has been handed wide draw, though that was also the case when she won the Las Virgenes Stakes (G1) in February, and her 5 ½-length win in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) last time out stamped her a real top class performer. With just four career starts under her belt, Rags to Riches should improve again. Most likely she can win again without doing so.
The only question mark seems to be the track. Churchill is quite different to Santa Anita and some of her opponents do have experience with it. Indeed, Dreaming of Anna has experienced the most famous winners’ circle in the land, having won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) here last fall.
KENTUCKY OAKS (G1)
Churchill Downs 4 May 2007 – 9 furlongs dirt
Horses presented with best Globeform, sire,
GF achieved in last three runs (l-to-r) and rider.
A ”+” after name of horse indicates improvement expected.
118 – RAGS TO RICHES (A.P. Indy) GF ?++ 110+ 118+ / G Gomez
115 – DREAMING OF ANNA (Rahy) GF 115 in 2006 / 2007: 99 – 105+ / R Douglas
112 – OCTAVE (Unbridled’s Song) GF 112 + / 105+ 112+ / J Velazquez
112 – MISTICAL PLAN (Game Plan) GF 105+ 112 – 101 / D Flores
111 – HIGH HEELS (E Dubai) GF 85 – 100 – 111 / J Johnson
110 – CASH INCLUDED (Include) GF 115 in 2006 / 2007: GF 104 – 106 – 98 / C Nakatani
109 – HIGH AGAIN (High Yield) GF 99+ 109 – 105 / C Velasquez
109 – COTTON BLOSSOM (Broken Vow) GF 109 / 106+ 102 / E Prado
109 – DAWN AFTER DAWN (Successful Appeal) GF 90 – 95 – 109? / R Albarado
102 – AUTOBAHN GIRL (A.P. Indy) GF 100 - ?+ 102 / E castro
100 – GRACE HAPPENS (Aptitude) GF 0 – 90 – 100 / W Martinez
100 – SEALY HILL (Point Given) GF ?+ / 92+ 100 / P Husbands
..99 – TOUGH TIZ’ SIS (Tisnow) GF ? - ?+ 99 / V Espinoza
..97 – SWIFT TEMPER (Giant’s Causeway) GF ?+ 97 – 91 / J Leparoux
Is Rags to Riches as good as her half-brother, the Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Jazil? No, she’s not. She is better.
After having landed the, not so unusual, Las Virgenes / Santa Anita Oaks double, this filly is favorite for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs. If she takes her California form to Churchill (where she ran once at two), she will probably win again. Rags to Riches broke little sweat in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1), where she defeated Silver Swallow by 5 ½ lengths. Only four met her, after her brilliant win in the Las Virgenes, but she could hardly have been more impressive. Also, she proved herself over 9 furlongs. Running that distance takes a fair bit more at Churchill than at Santa Anita but, as a daughter of a Belmont winner and as a half-sister to a Belmont winner, stamina is unlikely to be an issue when she goes for the Oaks.
She had only raced twice prior to to 8.5-furlong Las Virgenes, and she was drawn widest in the nine-runner field. Garrett Gomez rode a fine race, and a confident one too, as he sat at the back early. He was forced wide on both turns but was on a filly with class. She quickened up really well in the straight, to glide past the Santa Ysabel (G2) winner Baroness Thatcher, who tried to make all but was beaten ¾ length.
As the latter was giving her 4lbs, she came out best on our ratings – but Rags to Riches had Baroness Thatcher 9 lengths behind in the Santa Anita Oaks (level weights) – another indication of her progress.
The daughter of A P Indy was fourth to Change Up on her debut – over 5.5 furlongs at Churchill Downs last June – and not seen again intil January 7, when she took a maiden at Santa Anita by 6 lengths from Iron Butterfly.
Rags to Riches will not pay much but it is impossible to oppose her. Go with the class and make sure of a profit on the eve of the Derby!
Dreaming of Anna has been disappointing this year. On her Bredeers’ Cup form she holds every chance, if she stays 9 furlongs. And that is a huge, huge if. Reportedly working well now, she takes her chance, but we do not fear her all that much.
Download Dreaming of Anna’s essay from the Globeform Annual below.
DREAMING OF ANNA (Rahy) GF07s
Octave was beaten 1 ½ lengths by Dreaming of Anna here last November, when they filled the exacta in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), and she has an excellent chance of revenge this time. Whereas Dreaming of Anna, who is a speedy sort, has had two runs well below par this year, Octave’s form profile is postive. And she will relish this step up in distance. She running on gamely for second behind the in-form Mistical Plan in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G3) and stepped up again in the Ashland Stakes (G1) at Keeneland four weeks later. Octave finished really well that day, but failed by a head in her attempt at catching Christmas Kid. There is no doubt that Todd Pletcher has Octave hitting top form at the right time. She will stay the trip, and she has experience with the track – two big plus points in a race like the Oaks. In addition, she has experience of racing in big field. She may lack the brilliance of Rags to Riches, but she looks set to be her main danger.
High Again has already won over 9 furlongs (in the Bonnie Miss), Mistical Plan is a more dubious stayer but may hit the board, and High Heels has been ridden – with success – from off the pace in her last two races. She will stay, and after her easy Fantasy Stakes (G2) win over Cotton Blossom (seems well exposed) and Cash Included (very dull this year), one has to take High Heels seriously now. She has definitely improved a lot this year.
Cotton Blossom is the longshot to add into the exotics. It will come as a shock if she wins, even runs second, but she is quite consistent and she may possess a fair amount of stamina, so third or fourth would not surprise.
A: 11 RAGS TO RICHES
B: 4 OCTAVE
C: 3 HIGH HEELS, 7 DREAMING OF ANNA, 13 MISTICAL PLAN, 14 HIGH AGAIN
11 Rags to Riches
A: 11 with 4
B: 4 with 11
A: 11 with 4 with 3, 5, 7, 13, 14 (5)
B: 11 with 3, 5, 7, 13, 14 with 4 (5)
A: 11 with 4 with 3, 14 with 3, 14 (2)
B: 11 with 4 with 3, 14 with 5, 7, 13 (6)
C: 11 with 4 with 5, 7, 13 with 3, 14 (6)
D: 11 with 3, 14 with 4 with 3, 5, 7, 13, 14 (8)
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