As so many others have written this afternoon, it’s no surprise that Rags to Riches was retired.
The question now, for so many of us: was it worth it?
Selfishly, as a race fan, I say yes. I have never been more excited at a race than I was when she roared down that stretch, fighting Curlin every inch, looking him in the eye, refusing to be denied.
I’d been sick all day that Belmont day, spending hours in the infirmary at Belmont Park that morning. Yet when she passed me in the stretch, when I saw her head in front of Curlin’s, all illness fell away, and I jumped on my seat, and I pumped my fist, and I exhilarated with the rest of the Belmont crowd, as we watched history being made by one of the toughest fillies we’ll ever see.
The next day, Joe Drape wrote in The New York Times, “No matter which horse anyone here had bet on, it was clear in the final strides that the only payoff anyone wanted was to witness something they would not forget.”
Was it worth it? She’s basically healthy, she’s sound, and she’s going to live a great life. We got to see her make history, and I wouldn’t trade anything for that.
Live long and prosper, Rags—and thanks for everything you gave us.