09/07/2007 11:00PM

Rags to Riches works for Gazelle


ELMONT, N.Y. - Belmont Stakes winner Rags to Riches completed her major preparations for her return to the races in next Saturday's Grade 1 Gazelle by working six furlongs in 1:14.80 Saturday morning over Belmont Park's main track.

Working by herself with Angel Cordero in the irons, Rags to Riches went her first quarter in 26 seconds and she galloped out seven furlongs in 1:27.60. Trainer Todd Pletcher caught her galloping out a mile in 1:41.

"Like I've said before, this filly has proven in the past that she doesn't have to work fast in order to run well," Pletcher said. "I was mainly looking for a nice, steady breeze, make sure that we had her tight enough to run a mile and an eighth in her first race since June 9."

Rags to Riches has not run since becoming the first filly to win the Belmont Stakes in 102 years. She has endured numerous setbacks since July, including a temperature that forced her to miss the Coaching Club American Oaks and another fever that forced her to miss a workout and subsequently the Grade 1 Ruffian.

On July 22, Rags to Riches was pulled up at the start of a five-furlong workout at Belmont Park. A thorough examination at the New Bolton Center didn't reveal any problems. Rags to Riches returned to the worktab on Aug. 5, and Saturday's move was her fifth breeze since then.

"Most of her breezes have been good with good gallop outs so I didn't expect anything different today," Pletcher said. "I had her out the mile in 1:41 which satisfied me that she's ready to go a mile and an eighth."

As of Saturday, Lear's Princess, the Alabama and Coaching Club American Oaks runner-up, and Le Chateau, second in the off-the-turf Heed Stakes last out, were the only other confirmed Gazelle starters. Lady Marlboro and Humble Janet are possible.

Discreet Cat sharp in work

Discreet Cat, unraced since finishing last in the Dubai World Cup in March, had his most impressive workout since returning to training as he drilled five furlongs in 59.84 seconds Saturday morning over Belmont's main track.

With Simon Harris up, Discreet Cat went his first quarter in 25.47 and his last quarter in 22.86. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:11.72 and he pulled up in 1:27.01.

Discreet Cat, winner of the Grade 1 Cigar Mile last year at Aqueduct, is being pointed to the Grade 1 Vosburgh here on Sept. 30 and then, most likely the $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Monmouth Park on Oct. 26.

We're real happy with the work," said assistant trainer Rick Mettee, who oversees Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin Racing's New York string. "He went off in hand 25-and-change and had a couple of 11-and-change last eighths. He seemed to have pretty much a normal blow pulling up. Obviously, we're pretty happy with him."