Itll be up to trainer Todd Pletcher and co-owners Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor to determine over the next several weeks when and where we see Rags to Riches under colors again.

But it would be interesting to know now if these men fully comprehend that the course of action they map out for their Belmont Stakes and Kentucky Oaks winner could have a profound effect on horse racings popularity over the next couple of years.

Rags to Riches is a filly most certain to race as a mare and this means that racing would have the ongoing superstar its been looking for. All these years, the sport has been waiting for a Triple Crown winner to rally its fans around. Now, by the slightest of margins in the least suspecting way, Rags to Riches, a filly, not a colt, has become more than that.

Heres hoping that her team doesnt take the easy way out and do the customary whats right for the horse. Whats right for the horse will be wrong for the sport. With a little bit of luck, the trainer and co-owners can be lining their pockets while showcasing a horse for the ages.

Speculation is that Rags to Riches will run next in the Coaching Club of America Oaks at Belmont Park on July 21. According to sources, the Travers Stakes would follow on her schedule. Having the talented miss take the track against Preakness winner Curlin or Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense or both in Saratoga could be the biggest event in recent racing memory. In a sport ever spiraling into off-track participation, running Rags to Riches against males is the one spectacle that might attract people to the racetrack.

Purists will have difficulty understanding this, of course. Paul Moran, a graybeard of a turf writer for Newsday, for one, has already proclaimed that Rags to Riches, a girl, should remain a girl and keep to her own sex on the racetrack. Moran, like everyone left-brained and grounded, bases his opinions, no doubt, on conventional wisdom, not idealistic vision.

Such misogynist leanings are exactly why Pletcher, Smith and Tabor should act otherwise. Like the infamous Billy Jean King and Bobby Riggs encounter, or for that matter, the Ruffian and Foolish Pleasure fiasco, there is inherent interest throughout this sex-divided world whenever a woman takes on a man in anything - to wit, Hilary Clinton. For the good of the sport, let it happen.

Moreover, whenever David beats Goliath, everyone cheers. What, for example, would the story of Seabiscuit be without if he didnt succeed despite bucking the odds? Seeing Rags to Riches dominate her division will bring nothing to the sport. But having her dominate the dominant division, or at least, taking a shot at it, would be crowd pleasing and newsworthy.

It is mind-stretching to remember when an equine had the charisma to draw fans without the benefit of a Triple Crown at stake. Point Given had an attendance-altering effect on the 2001 Travers. Although, other than that, can you think of any other horse that drew people to the grandstands like a Clemens does or a Jordan did?

Most likely, Rags to Riches wont gather greater numbers to Belmont for the Coaching Club of America Oaks, a competition for three-year-old fillies, than any other horse would for any other Saturday stakes. But as a filly that plays from the back tees, she would dwarf Annika Sorenstam in notoriety.