LOUISVILLE, KY – In a scene reminiscent of college basketball, an Indiana champion named Coach streaks into Louisville looking for a fight in Sunday’s $98,000 Rags to Riches Stakes at Churchill Downs.
The Rags to Riches is a 1 1/16-mile dirt route restricted to 2-year-old fillies. This year’s edition is the penultimate event on an 11-race card known annually as “Stars of Tomorrow I” and has a local post time of 2:36 PM.
Here’s a look at the full field for the Rags to Riches:
1. Orsetto 8/1 – She broke her maiden at third asking last time out, taking a 7-furlong dirt dash by 7 3/4 lengths after setting the tempo from gate to wire. She was a well-beaten second behind familiar rival Coach 2 starts back in a 6-furlong sprint, but she looks like a runner who should enjoy stretching out in this two-turn route and her pedigree backs that up.
2. Malibu Bird 9/2 – The Marylou Whitney Stables homebred also broke her maiden at third asking last time out, running on the front end early and holding on gamely late to win by a nose. It came at Keeneland in her first routing attempt, looking much better than she had in a pair of 6-furlong sprints, including behind a pair whom she’ll face again here.
3. Dash to the Top 15/1 – She broke her maiden at second asking while running for a $50k tag in a 6-furlong dash at Saratoga, then stretched out to a mile at Keeneland and finished second by just a nose against optional claiming foes. She has a strong win-early pedigree; her sire, Violence, won a pair of graded stakes as a juvenile and his progeny have a 20% win rate at age 2.
4. Oliviaofthedesert 4/1 – After finishing fourth on debut in a turf mile at Ellis Park, she graduated by 5 1/2 lengths in a mile-long event over their dirt course. She returned to turf and finished third in the Mint Juvenile Fillies Stakes at Kentucky Downs behind two next-out winners, but she must rebound from a well-beaten fifth in the Alcibiades Stakes (G1) last time out.
5. Lady Traveler 5/1 – She finished third by a neck behind Salty as Can Be while making her career debut, then broke through next time out while leading from start to finish. She stretches out quite a bit after those 6-furlong sprints, but both came over this course, so at least she likes it here, and her breeding suggests that the distance should not be a problem.
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6. Salty as Can Be 5/1 – She broke her maiden on debut over a pair of rivals who return to face her again here, fighting gamely in the stretch as an 11/1 longshot. The pricey ($850k) daughter of Into Mischief’s Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse has prior experience in this race: he’s saddled three prior runners, including the 2017 runner-up Queen Mum.
7. Torsie’s Charm 20/1 – After she finished last of nine in an Ellis Park turf mile, trainer Eddie Kenneally moved her to onto the main track (a 20% winning move) and she responded with a 4 1/2-length score in a 7-furlong sprint. She weakened to fifth in a mile-long Keeneland optional claiming event after stalking the pace and must improve while running longer here.
8. Coach 3/1 – She blew her rivals (including Orsetto) off their feet in her debut, running away to win by 4 1/4 lengths in a 6-furlong sprint at Indiana Grand. She returned to romp by an even bigger margin (9 3/4 lengths) against allowance rivals in a 5 1/2-furlong dash over the same course. The 72 Beyer Speed Figure that she earned in the latter is the best in the field.
9. Midnight Ballerina 8/1 – She kicked clear in the stretch to win her debut by a length in a 6 1/2-furlong sprint over the local course, defeating a next-out winner (who earned a 61 Beyer Speed Figure in her victory). Julien Leparoux is back aboard for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott; since 2019, the two have combined for a 27% success rate at Churchill Downs.