2012 Kentucky Derby Spotlight: Union Rags

by Horstradamus

posted on May 1, 2012 in General Discussion, Horse Racing, Kentucky Derby, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

(Photo: Coglianese Photos)


Dixie Union–Tempo

Trainer:  Michael Matz
Jockey:  Julien Leparoux
Owner:  Chadds Ford Stable
Record:  6 – 4 – 1 – 1
Earnings:  $1,198,800
Last Race:  Florida Derby, 3rd





This Michael Matz trainee has never finished off the board in six races.  He may not be very quick out of the gate, but at the end of the race he has shown great ability to close in the stretch.  Having raced at several different tracks, Union Rags has had a tougher path to the Derby than others, and the experience has served him well.  Finishing second as the heavy favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in November, he may not have taken home the trophy, but by no means did he disappoint.  He put in a strong race and just happened to be bested by Hansen that day.

The main issue for Union Rags is the main issue for many other contenders too:  the probability of getting a bad trip.  He has often got caught wide at some point in his past races, and the Derby is not the most merciful event for anything less than a perfect trip.  If Julien Leparoux can steer him cleanly, he may be dangerous in the final furlong.