NEW YORK (AP) - Rags to Riches can beat the boys too.
The filly outdueled Curlin in a breathtaking stretch run and won the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, becoming the first of her sex to take the final leg of the Triple Crown in more than a century.
No one was happier with the victory than trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez, who both ended long droughts in Triple Crown races: Pletcher was 0-for-28, Velazquez 0-for-20.
The normally reserved Pletcher was screaming throughout the stretch run, one that had the fans at Belmont Park on their feet roaring as the two stars battled saddlecloth to saddlecloth to the wire.
Rags to Riches, despite a slight stumble at the start, became the third filly to capture the Belmont -- Ruthless took the first running in 1867 and Tanya won in 1905.
Only 22 fillies have tried the Belmont, with Rags to Riches the first since Silverbulletday finished seventh in 1999.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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