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Velazquez to Ride Union Rags in Belmont?

Sometime around 10 a.m. Sunday, a horse van carrying Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another north on I-95 to Belmont Park, passed about 10 miles east of the Fair Hill (Md.) Training Center. The horse that will be going for the Triple Crown on June 9 in the Belmont Stakes was on his way to get familiar with the surface they call “Big Sandy.”

Meanwhile, the horse whose trainer thought might be going for the Triple Crown was hanging in his Fair Hill stall. Union Rags is quietly getting ready, away from the madness that is sure to envelop I’ll Have Another and his connections in the coming days. When Union Rags won the Champagne Stakes at Belmont last October, Michael Matz shipped him up the day of the race. The trainer isn’t certain if he will wait that long this time, but he is certain of his confidence in his colt. It has never wavered.

There is, however, the matter of horse racing arithmetical reality. I’ll Have Another really should not have been able to run down Bodemeister to win Saturday’s Preakness at Pimlico. One might be able to make the case that it was better to be outside than inside at Pimlico, but it is not an obvious case. Typically, really good horses that get easy leads and race comfortably do not get caught in the stretch. Change the names of the horses Saturday and, assuming equal ability, the horse in front probably wins 95 percent of the time which is why I’ll Have Another’s late charge to win by a neck was so impressive.

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Older Comments about Velazquez to Ride Union Rags in Belmont?...

Best news for Rags. Dullahan with Javier. It is going to be a good race. Even with Mark Veleski out
Johnny V on Union Rags a horse that alot of people still think is the best 3yr old and Javier Castellano on Dullahan, this means that I'll Have Another will have his work cut out for him, this looks like a thriller come June 9th, I can wait.
God yes. Someone commented elsewhere that UR was fast but not quick. Well JohnV is quick, plus very good at avoiding/ staying out of trouble, plus he knows the track, and can put UR where he needs to be. Then we've got a horserace. Hopefully as thrilling as the Preakness.
John Velazquez would be a good choice. He knows his way around Big Sandy and won the Belmont Stakes in 2007 aboard Rags To Riches.

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