Union Rags, winning the 2011 Champagne.

Union Rags, winning the 2011 Champagne.

Coglianese Photos

Union Rags Breezes for Fountain of Youth

Last year's Champagne winner continues to work toward 3-year-old debut Feb. 26.

One day after losing his regular rider, Javier Castellano, for his 2012 debut in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), Union Rags  was out on the track at Palm Meadows Training Center for a five-furlong breeze in 1:03.08, the ninth fastest work of the 12 works at the distance Feb. 13.

In a Twitter post shortly after Castellano’s decision to ride Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) winner Algorithms  in the Fountain of Youth was announced, jockey Julien Leparoux expressed his excitement about picking up the mount on last year’s Champagne Stakes (gr. I) and Saratoga Special (gr. II) winner. Leparoux was aboard the son of Dixie Union for Monday's work.

Brian Walls, clocker at Palm Meadows, said it was the best Union Rags has looked all winter. The colt is trained by Michael Matz for owner/breeder Phyllis Wyeth.

"He did it well in hand and closed his final eighth in :11 3/5," Walls said. "He galloped out six furlongs in 1:15 3/5 and pulled up seven furlongs in 1:29. This was the Union Rags I saw at Saratoga."

Union Rags will have one more work prior to the Feb. 26 Fountain of Youth, run at 1 1/16 miles.

Also at Palm Meadows, Todd Pletcher sent out most of his top 3-year-olds for works. Algorithms  went a half in :49 1/5 and did it by himself, going easily in :24 4/5 and galloping out five furlongs in 1:02 1/5. The undefeated Discreet Dancer, who was forced to miss his last work due to a fever, was back on the work tab, breezing five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 in company with Alma d'Oro, closing his final quarter in :23 2/5 and galloping out six furlongs in 1:13 4/5. The son of Discreet Cat also is pointing for the Fountain of Youth, along with Algorithms, who will be ridden by Castellano.

Finally, El Padrino , went a half in :48 1/5 in company with Rockfield, doing it easily and galloping out in 1:01 and pulling up six furlongs in 1:14 2/5.

At Hollywood Park, Sham (gr. III) winner Out of Bounds drilled six furlongs in 1:13 2/5 for a possible start in the San Felipe (gr. II). The son of Discreet Cat is owned by Darley and trained by Eoin Harty, but could race in Godolphin's colors in the San Felipe.