05/01/2007 12:00AM

Rags to Riches gets post 11 for Oaks


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Rags to Riches will start from post 11 as the favorite among 14 3-year-old fillies in the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks, the Grade 1 race to be run Friday for the 133rd time at Churchill Downs.

Rags to Riches enters the Oaks off back-to-back Grade 1 victories, the Las Virgenes and Santa Anita Oaks. Owned by Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith and trained by Todd Pletcher, Rags to Riches will be ridden by Garrett Gomez in the 1 1/8-mile Oaks. She has been installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite on the Churchill program.

Pletcher, who won the 2004 Oaks with Ashado, has two other starters in the Oaks: Octave, with John Velazquez to ride, and Cotton Blossom, with Edgar Prado. Octave enters off a narrow defeat in the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland, while Cotton Blossom most recently ran second in the Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

Besides the Pletcher trio, other major contenders in the Oaks include Dreaming of Anna, the 2-year-old filly champion of 2006; High Heels, runaway winner of the Fantasy; Tough Tiz's Sis, a winner in 3 of her last 4 starts; and High Again, winner of the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

The balance of the Oaks field is Dawn After Dawn, Cash Included, Grace Happens, Swift Temper, Autobahn Girl, Sealy Hill, and Mistical Plan.

All three of the Pletcher fillies for the Oaks were scheduled to ship Tuesday afternoon to Churchill from Keeneland, where they have trained over Polytrack in recent weeks. Rags to Riches, unraced since winning the March 11 Santa Anita Oaks, has had six workouts since then, the last three at Keeneland.

Virtually every top 3-year-old filly in North America has been entered in the Oaks, with the exception of the Ashland winner Christmas Kid, whose trainer, Jimmy Jerkens, chose to skip the race and point to the June 9 Acorn at Belmont Park. Christmas Kid is the first Ashland winner to miss the Oaks since Inside Information in 1994. Although it looked earlier in the week as though there could be more than 14 Oaks entries, there were no exclusions on entry day.

The Oaks will be televised live on ESPN2 on a one-hour broadcast to begin at 5 p.m. Eastern. Post time is 5:45 p.m. An ontrack crowd of more than 100,000 is expected.

The Oaks is the first leg in the Oaks-Derby Double, the two-day wager that Churchill has offered annually since 1996.

Five other stakes are carded on an 11-race Friday program, when first post is 11 a.m. Eastern.

Field for the Grade 1, $500,000 Kentucky Oaks:

(Post position, horse, jockey)

1. Dawn After Dawn, R. Albarado

2. Cash Included, C. Nakatani

3. High Heels, J. Johnson

4. Octave, J. Velazquez

5. Cotton Blossom, E. Prado

6. Grace Happens, W. Martinez

7. Dreaming of Anna, R. Douglas

8. Swift Temper, J. Leparoux

9. Tough Tiz's Sis, V. Espinoza

10. Autobahn Girl, E. Castro

11. Rags to Riches, G. Gomez

12. Sealy Hill, P. Husbands

13. Mistical Plan, D. Flores

14. High Again, C. Velasquez