07/29/2007 11:00PM

Rags to Riches back in training


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Belmont Stakes winner Rags to Riches returned to training at Belmont Park on Monday morning, the first time she's been to the racetrack since she was pulled up shortly after beginning a five-furlong workout at Belmont eight days earlier.

Rags to Riches, the first filly to win the Belmont in 102 years, underwent several days of testing following the aborted workout, first by Dr. Steve Allday and then at the New Bolton Center in Pennsylvania, where she was given a complete physical. When the tests proved inconclusive, Rags to Riches's owners, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, called in their private veterinarian, Dr. Paul Thorpe, from Ireland on Saturday to further evaluate the test results.

"Dr. Thorpe basically said none of the results of any of her tests give any reason not to put the filly back in training," Pletcher said Monday.

Pletcher said Rags to Riches galloped a mile on Monday and would gallop again at Belmont on Tuesday before shipping to Saratoga later that day. She'll train at Saratoga for the first time on Wednesday morning, most likely over the main track.

"It's still too early to say right now whether she can still make the Alabama or not," said Pletcher, who planned to be at Belmont on Tuesday. "I wouldn't expect she's lost that much fitness, although we probably won't be sure until she has her next work. What happens over the next week will probably determine whether she'll run in the Alabama or not."

Since losing her debut at 2, Rags to Riches has won five consecutive races, including the Kentucky Oaks and Santa Anita Oaks prior to her victory over Curlin in the Belmont.