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Valeria pilots Rags To Riches. Brian Simon photo, courtesy of Valeria

Gallop girl switches gears, trains softly

Valerie Buck rode for the best barns and galloped some of the greatest racehorses. Sitting astride powerhouses such as Rags to Riches, Super Saver, and her personal favorite Fleet Indian, the exercise rider knew the well-bred superstars were very valuable indeed. But she knew just as well that even the ones who never hit it big were worth something. Intrinsic, undeniable value ran through all of their bloodlines, and it infuriated her to hear of a poor-performing Thoroughbred, derided as a throwaway. “These are valuable animals!” she insists. So, in 2009, Buck decided to start a new career, finding retired […]