Chadds Ford Stable’s Union Rags galloped 1 1/2 miles April 27 on his first tour of the track at Churchill Downs this year. He is scheduled to breeze April 28, depending on the weather.
The colt, who was shipped to Louisville from Keeneland on April 26, finished second in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) over the track in November.
Exercise rider Peter Brette was aboard for the gallop during the 8:30 a.m. training period reserved for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks candidates. Union Rags showed a lot of energy during his time on the track.
“He’s been amazing,” trainer Michael Matz said. “The further he goes, the stronger he gets. He’s amazing that way.”
Rather than go directly to the gap closest to Barn 42, Matz had Brette walk the colt through the barn area and enter the course at a gap near the half-mile pole on the backstretch. They jogged around the clubhouse turn in the wrong direction then turned and did the morning exercise.
“I thought it went fine,” Matz said. “He galloped nice today. He enjoyed it and it looked like he was having fun out there.”
Rain is forecast for Saturday morning and Matz said that he might push back the colt’s final work for the Derby to Sunday or Monday.
“We’ve got to play it by ear,” he said. “I want to make sure we get on a good track.”