LOUISVILLE — Rags to Riches led a wave of four fast-closing fillies to a convincing 4 1/4-length victory in the $589,200 Kentucky Oaks on Friday at Churchill Downs.
The Todd Pletcher-trained Rags to Riches was chased through the final furlong by stablemate Octave, who wound up with a 3 1/2-length margin over local favorite High Heels.
Dawn After Dawn charged up from 12th place to get fourth.
Rags to Riches, the 3-2 favorite, made her move after running fifth through the first 6 furlongs. By the stretch, she was 2 lengths ahead of Octave and more than doubled that lead through the lane.
The victory sets up Pletcher to become the first trainer to win the Oaks on Friday and the Kentucky Derby the next day in more than half a century.
Pletcher, winning his second Oaks, will saddle a record-tying five horses Saturday: Circular Quay, Scat Daddy, Any Given Saturday, Cowtown Cat and Sam P.
Pletcher could match the Oaks-Derby double of Ben A. Jones, who trained Calumet Farm¹s Real Delight and Hill Gail to victories in 1952.
The Grade I victory was the third in a row for Rags to Riches, who prepped on the West Coast with triumphs in the Las Virgenes and Santa Anita Oaks.
Earlier on Friday's card, 2006 Oaks winner Lemons Forever finished sixth and last in the Louisville Breeders' Cup.
Lemons Forever, a 47-1 long shot in the Oaks, hasn't won since that race a year ago. She competed in seven consecutive Grade I races until Friday's Grade II event.