In 1937, thirty two years after Tanya became the last filly to win the Belmont, Amelia Earhart’s plane nosedived into the South Pacific. She was attempting to become the first woman to circumnavigate the globe by air. Many things contributed to her failure, maybe her equipment failed or maybe she made a math mistake calculating the amount of gas she would need but to make a long story short, she ran out of gas.
Fast forward seventy years to Belmont Park this Saturday as Rags to Riches (360) like Amelia tempts fate and tries go where no filly in modern times has gone. While some see the decision to run Rags as a sporting gesture and that it may be, the move is out of character for the ever careful Pletcher and smacks more of desperation than sportsmanship. Like Earhart, Rags to Riches will fail because Pletcher has overestimated her abilities and underestimated the colts she will run against. A few good workouts against Circular Quay in the mornings doesn’t mean much these days. She is a standout in a weak three-year old filly division and has only raced once at a mile and an eighth and never against colts. Her immediate family includes two Belmont winners, neither one of them was a filly. Of course, she would not be Todd’s first miscalculation of the season, all his best colts have crashed and burned this year for one reason or another and why should Rags be any different? A mile and a half for any three-year old is terra incognito, so look carefully as Rags to Riches does her Amelia Earhart imitation just short of the 3/8s pole.