03/12/2007 12:00AM

Rags to Riches dazzles in Santa Anita Oaks


ARCADIA, Calif. - Rags to Riches uncorked a dazzling burst of speed at the quarter pole of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks, and in the blink of an eye the 3-year-old filly was gone. The question now, where is she headed?

A five and one-half length romp over Silver Swallow in the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks stamped Rags to Riches ($2.80) as the nation’s leading 3-year-old filly. After the race, trainer Todd Pletcher and co-owner Michael Tabor considered the possibility of facing colts.

Pletcher said the dominating performance by Rags to Riches “maybe opens up the option of running her against colts between now and the (Kentucky) Oaks.” Tabor, who owns or co-owns the colts Ravel and Circular Quay, said Rags to Riches will “probably stick with the girls, but at the end of the day, you never know.” Rags to Riches was sired by A.P. Indy, and is co-owned by Derrick Smith.

Rags to Riches won the mile and a sixteenth Oaks in a solid 1:42.84 over a track that played slightly faster than par. Ridden by Garrett Gomez, she pressed the pace four-wide, stayed three-wide pushing an easy half-mile in 47.02 seconds, and then opened up into the lane and coasted home. It was the filly’s third win of the meet, and followed a maiden sprint and a wide-trip victory in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes.

After runner-up Silver Swallow, the Santa Anita Oaks order of finish was: Cash Included, Baroness Thatcher and Runway Rosie. Quickandquietqueen and Slew o’ Platinum scratched.