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Matz Searches for Another Union Rags

Matz Searches for Another Union Rags

Mornings at Palm Meadows Training Center are considerably less hectic this season for Michael Matz, who trained high-profile Triple Crown prospect Union Rags amidst a swirl of attention last year.

“He was a good horse, that’s for sure,” said Matz, who saddled Union Rags for victories in the Fountain of Youth and Belmont Stakes before his colt’s retirement. “It was hard losing a horse like that, but we’ll just have to keep looking for another one.”

Matz doesn’t have any accomplished 2-year-olds in his stable thus far this year.

“I’ve got some late-developing 2-year-olds. They’ve worked OK, but no standouts yet,” he said. “I just have to keep hoping one of them will be.”

Matz will saddle a trio of 2-year-olds for starts this week that he hopes will lead to bigger and better things during the meeting.

Hard to Handle, who was purchased for $270,000 at the 2-year-olds-in-training sale at Timonium last spring, is entered to make his second start in Thursday’s sixth race. The son of Hard Spun was well backed at the windows for his debut at Laurel on Oct. 24, when he broke slowly and was rushed up early before faltering late.

Matz is hoping good things from a pair of 2-year-olds, Whitfield and Fredricksburg, on Saturday’s card.

Whitfield, a Louisiana-bred son of Private Vow, will be making his first start in the U.S. and on dirt in Saturday’s second race after racing twice on turf in England.

“They bought him at a 2-year-olds-in-training sale and shipped him to England, but they thought he’d be better on dirt than turf and brought him back here,” Matz said. “He’s worked nicely. This colt is a real gentleman.”

Fredricksburg has shown a fondness for turf in four lifetime races that include a maiden score at Saratoga and a third-place finish in an overnight stakes at Belmont Park last time out. The son of Speightstown has been entered for the Saturday’s seventh race, a mile entry-level allowance.

“We’re going to try him on dirt,” Matz said. “He’s stakes-placed on the turf. He’s worked well on the dirt. We’ll see how he runs on Saturday.”



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Older Comments about Matz Searches for Another Union Rags...

Hard to Handle shall impress at over a mile, not sure if I like this drop in distance Mr. Matz
I love Michael Matz -- a true gentleman and a true Hero...

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