Belief in Theogony at 1 1/2 miles pays off in Rags to Riches Stakes win

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Ed DeRosa

June 10th, 2016

A mare by Curlin won a race at the Belmont Stakes distance named after a filly who defeated Curlin in the 2007 Belmont Stakes.

Theogony tracked pacesetter Milaya through the first mile of the 1 1/2-mile Rags to Riches Invitational S. before taking command on the far turn and coasting to an eight-length victory in 2:28.42 – a time that would have been faster in each of the six previous Belmont Stakes except for American Pharoah’s Triple Crown triumph last year.

“The distance suited this mare,” jockey Julien Leparoux said. “We were too far back last time, so we wanted to be closer. I thought I had horse under me, but you never know until you ask, and she responded for me.”

Theogony is out of the stakes-placed winner Upcoming Story, by Tale of the Cat.

“I wasn’t sure how she would react going 1 1/2 miles, but I thought looking at her and her breeding, ‘well, let’s give it a try,’” trainer Mark Casse said. “I worked her last week to sharpen her up a little.

“A mile-and-a-half is a different kind of race, and I didn’t want her getting too far back. We got her into the race. She amazed me how well she finished.”

Casse came into Friday ranked fifth among North American trainer by earnings. One of his star horses, champion Tepin, will compete on Tuesday at Royal Ascot.

Theogony photo courtesy of NYRA/Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography