Girls Horse Club Blog

My Tribute to the Running Girls: Part 2

Published by • Jun 22nd, 2008 • Category: Junior Blogger Archives, Showing & Sport

by SB, age 14

Continuing from PART 1, here is PART 2 featuring some of my favorite and most notably famous racing fillies.


Winning Colors was born in February of 1985 and is the last and most recent of the three fillies that have won the Kentucky Derby. She won both of her starts at the age of two, and in the spring of 1988, Winning Colors won the Santa Anita Derby by 7½ lengths against some of the best colts at the time, including Forty Niner. She placed third in the Preakness Stakes, the second race of the Triple Crown; while the winner of that same Preakness went on to win the Belmont by 15 lengths, Winning Colors finished out of the money. She won the 1988 Eclipse Award for Outstanding 3 Year-Old Filly and was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2000. Sadly, Winning Colors had to be euthanized on February 17, 2008 because of complications she had with some colic.


Rags to Riches was born in Kentucky during February in 2004. Her grandsire was the famed Seattle Slew who was descendant of the famous Secretariat. Rags lost her first race in 2005 which was 4½ lengths, and her trainers got the idea to race her over longer distances. Brought back to competition in 2007, she raced the Santa Anita Park and won by six lengths, her first win. Rags became the betting favorite during the Kentucky Oaks, Grade I, and pulled a 4½ length first place against the 2 Year-Old Filly of the Year of 2006 and Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Filly named Dreaming of Anna. Arguably her most famous race was in 2007 against the noted favorite Curlin in the Belmont Stakes. She pulled and ran and managed to beat him by a head. Here is what the commentators were saying during the race,

“Here comes Hard Spun. And Curlin is coming through in between horses! And Rags to Riches is coming with a four-wide sweep! And Tiago is in behind them. And at the top of the stretch, a filly is in front at the Belmont! But Curlin is right there with her! These two, in a battle of the sexes at the Belmont Stakes! It is Curlin on the inside — Rags to Riches on the outside. A desperate finish: Rags to Riches and Curlin! They’re coming down to the wire. It’s gonna be very close! And it’s gonna be…. a filly in the Belmont! Rags to Riches has beaten Curlin and a hundred years of Belmont history! The first filly to win it in over a century!”

Courtesy of Wikipedia article Rags to Riches (horse)

Rags to Riches became the first filly to win the race since 1905. It was discovered that Rags to Riches had a hairline fracture in her right front pastern and was taken out of training for the season. In 2007, she was a nominee for the Teen Choice Award for the Choice Female Athlete and was also named the 2007 World Champion 3 Year-Old Filly. She came back in 2008, but it was discovered that she had reinjured her leg and was retired. Rags to Riches has been bred to Giant’s Causeway and is announced as pregnant.


Most of you, if not all, have already heard the story of Eight Belles at the Kentucky. Eight Belles was born on February 23, 2005 at Fox Hill Farm. As a two year-old she went on to make history as the first filly ever to win the Martha Washington Stakes. She finished first by 13½ lengths which was a new stakes record. She also managed to win the Honeybee stakes against an undefeated horse and, with an exciting race, finished first in the Fantasy Stakes not even a moth after. Then on May 3, Eight Belles came up from the back to take a fantastic second place in the Kentucky Derby to Big Brown, who was hoping to go for the Triple Crown at Belmont. On her cool down, Eight Belles is supposed to have tripped over her own two feet as she was coming up. Eight Belles was acknowledged by National Thoroughbred Racing Association during the Preakness Stakes as all jockeys were asked to wear stickers on their pants or boots in honor of her. The stickers were red and white with a bell, the word Belles, and a number eight on them. It is a fun fact that Eight Belle’s sire was Unbridled’s Song whose dam’s sire was Caro. Caro was the sire of Winning Colors as mentioned above as one of only three fillies to win the Kentucky Derby.

I have found that fillies as racers are almost always underestimated, and here is the proof that they are not to be. Girls Rock! If you know of any other fillies that you think deserve some rep, let it be known by posting a comment.

4 Nickers »

  1. You’re absolutely right. I’m glad I didn’t have to wait long for your next part :D Girls have the will and heart to do anything boys can, and this blog proves it perfectly. Never underestimate girls!

  2. Exactly. Girls rock!! Go fillies, go girls!!!

  3. This is fantastic! Now all we need to do is show a few boys this. They will most likely say, “Who cares! Those are horses, not humans!” But, at least they get the idea in their head that girls aren’t little sissies going around in skirts and dresses all the time. Us girls are pretty couragous! <<<< not sure if spelling is right…..


  4. OMG! Girls are awesome! and think of it this way- There wouldn’t be any boys without girls! Fillie rock!

    RIP Eight Belles