06/06/2016 11:50AM

Rags to Riches has had modest broodmare career

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Rags to Riches, winner of the 2007 Belmont Stakes, returned to Kentucky recently.

On Friday, Belmont Park will card the Rags to Riches Invitational, named to honor the 2007 Belmont Stakes winner who became the first filly in more than a century to win America’s oldest and longest classic when she outdueled eventual two-time Horse of the Year Curlin for the victory.

Rags to Riches, who also won the Kentucky Oaks, Santa Anita Oaks, and Las Virgenes for the Coolmore operation, has thus far failed to come remotely close to replicating herself as a broodmare. She was recently returned to Kentucky after spending several years in Ireland and looks to turn her fortunes around this year as part of an outstanding first book for Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, standing at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky.

Rags to Riches’s first foal, born in Kentucky in 2009, was the Giant’s Causeway filly Opulence, who closely resembled her dam in looks. The unraced filly has now joined Coolmore’s broodmare band and has been matched to its young stallions, producing a colt from the first crop of champion Shanghai Bobby last year and a colt from the first crop of multiple Grade 1 winner Verrazano this year.

After producing Admirer, a Henrythenavigator colt who lost his only start, Rags to Riches was matched four years in a row to Coolmore’s international titan Galileo, producing two winners thus far. Rhett Butler is a winner in Serbia; Rich and Righteous has won once from 11 starts, with that victory coming in Dubai; and Never So Few is winless in two starts this year. The most recent foal from the pairing is an unraced juvenile filly.

Rags to Riches delivered a filly from the first crop of regally bred Australia – by Galileo and out of champion Ouija Board – in March, prior to her booking to American Pharoah.

Hopes were high for Rags to Riches, a daughter of A.P. Indy, as a broodmare because of her outstanding female lineage. She is out of Broodmare of the Year Better Than Honour, who also produced Belmont Stakes winner Jazil, Breeders’ Cup Marathon winner Man of Iron, Grade 2 winner Casino Drive, and Grade 1 producer Teeming. Out of Kentucky Oaks winner Blush With Pride, Better Than Honour is a half-sister to Group 1-placed Maryinsky, the dam of champion Peeping Farn, Group 1 winner Thewayyouare, and group stakes winners Smolensk and Turnberry Isle.

Other prominent producers in the family include Broodmare of the Year Best in Show and her descendants Monroe and Minnie Hauk. It is the family of champion El Gran Senor and multiple Group 1 winner Redoute’s Choice, both prominent sires; champions Close Hatches, Malinowski, Xaar, Aldebaran, and Try My Best; Breeders’ Cup Mile winners Spinning World and Domedriver; and Grade/Group 1 winners Senue, Chief Contender, Chimes of Freedom, Good Journey, Denon, Saddex, Bahamian Pirate, Yagli, Hurricane Sky, Umatilla, Manhattan Run, Platinum Scissors, Al Maher, and Effinex.