Union Rags sidelined

Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags is out for at least the rest of the year.

Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags is out for at least the rest of the year after sustaining a minor tendon injury, according to a statement from Russell Jones, advisor to owner and breeder Phyllis Wyeth. Jones broke the news at Tuesday's Fasig-Tipton July sale near Lexington, Kentucky.

Union Rags is based at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland with trainer Michael Matz.

Jones said veterinarian Kathy Anderson will issue a statement regarding the colt's condition on Wednesday.

By Dixie Union, Union Rags captured his career debut at Delaware Park in July 2011 and followed with convincing victories in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special at Saratoga and Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont Park. He could not overcome a wide, troubled trip in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs, suffering his first career setback with a head second.

The bay opened this year with a smashing four-length tally in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park, but never appeared comfortable when in tight quarters most of the way in the Grade 1 Florida Derby next out, checking in a close third. Union Rags lost all chance at the start of the Kentucky Derby, dropping back toward the rear of the field after being slammed from both sides, and registered his only unplaced finish with a seventh.

He rebounded with a neck score in the final leg of the Triple Crown, the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes, and was being pointed toward the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park July 29.

Out of the winning Gone West mare Tempo, Union Rags has earned $1,798,800 from a 8-5-1-1 record.

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