Turned out at a Wellington, Fla. farm shortly after suffering his first loss by a nose in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) on Nov. 5, Union Rags has returned to light training after a short break.
“He’s got a terrific disposition. He’s a real smart horse,” said Michael Matz, who trains the colt for Chadds Ford Stable. “I had him in the paddock where he’s away from other horses. He was a little restless in the paddock, so we put him in a paddock right by the side of where the horses go to train. He loved it. He watched them all go by, and he just loved it.”
The 2-year-old son of Dixie Union, who won his first three races impressively before experiencing a wide trip at Churchill Downs, will be seeing more and more action in the coming days.
“We got on his back Saturday and just walked him for about a half hour. Starting on (Dec. 15), he’s going to be ridden every day,” Matz said. “Then after the first of the year, we’ll take him down to Palm Meadows to start some serious training.”
Union Rags is expected to prepare for the Triple Crown campaign in Gulfstream Park’s major 3-year-old stakes. He is currently the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) favorite in most future books.
“I would say the logical schedule would be the Fountain of Youth (Feb. 26) and the Florida Derby (March 31),” Matz said. “He’s here and we don’t have to ship around. If something happens where we have a change of plans where we have to do something different, we’re going to nominate him to just about everything.”