Was it worth it?

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.

4 thoughts on “Was it worth it?

  1. Agree. They gave it a noble try, didn’t have to.This is worse for Curlin fans: No rematch!grumblegrumblegrumblegrumblegrumblegrumblegrumblegrumble

  2. I agree. You have to try and it didn’t work out, unfortunately. Look at others that have been injured and brought back successfully (Brass Hat, Mariah’s Storm just for example). I think if you have a good one (or an excellant one for that matter) you have to at least try. Doesn’t mean it’s going to work out but it just might. And if it does – what a ride. It not, at least you tried. It’s like life, you can’t wait until you’re 70 and look back and say “only if I would a, I should a” – No regrets!

  3. A little behind on your posts – It was worth it, I haven’t cheered that much during the Belmont since 1973 ;)And now a plug for my all time favorite filly, Genuine Risk. At 31 she is the oldest living Kentucky Derby winner and only filly to be in the money in all three TC races. If not for the mud, she would’ve been the first to win Belmont in 75 years back in 1980.Hey you should write about her! Maybe the Firestones would allow you to visit her and you could take ME!

  4. I’ve been planning on doing a Rags tribute as well. You guys know how much I love Curlin, and Rags beat him – but far from being angry I about that, I’ve always thought she was something special. I remember vividly seeing Curlin in the post parade for the Belmont on tv. I thought he looked better than he had at the Preakness, although his eyes were a little tired looking. “He looks like a million bucks” I thought. Then I saw Rags. I didn’t even need to speak. I just looked at my wife, who mouthed (without speaking) “oh my god!!!” Possibly the best looking horse I’ve ever seen go to post in my young life. I can’t wait to see her sons and daughters in several years.

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