Race of the Week 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Danger: Triple Crown Buster – Union Rags

Union Rags wins 2011 Champagne.
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
Sleepless night … I keep picturing the last time that big, beautiful beast ran at the Big Sandy … Talk about Champagne nightmares … Someone needs to slap a big warning label on Union Rags hindquarters … Danger: Triple Crown Buster … Maybe if I’ll Have Another sees it before the race, he will be prepared … I don’t know … And I saw him up close at Churchill … Oh brother, Rags is a Man, man … The Derby is a toss … You know it as well as I do … Rags had a worse trip than that hippie chick I sat near at an Oakland Dead Show back in ’91 … He’s like a bomb that has a delayed detonation … He’s ready to explode … New rider in the saddle ... What’s he going to look like in those big open spaces at Belmont Park … And you know Matz is going to have him ready for 1 ½ … Seriously, someone get that warning label on this horse … I’m nervous. I tell ya, I’m nervous.
I wonder if I will be able to sleep tonight … What’s on the Golf Channel at 3 am … Need to mellow out with some TC footage from Affirmed-Alydar … Breathe in through the nose and out the mouth … Oh man, how is I’ll Have Another gonna breathe in New York … Breathe Right Nasal Strips … Are we really talking Breathe Right Nasal Strips … Outlawed in NYC like a Red Sox cap … Isn’t he gonna need all the oxygen he can get in the 11th and 12th furlongs … I’m gonna wear one of those things on my nose tonight … I’m nervous. I tell ya, I’m nervous.
Eyes are blurry … I want to get this 2012 Belmont Stakes done ... What … Light blue and yellow silks again … You cannot be serious … I’m starting to fidget more than Johnny Mac … If there was a tennis umpire around right now, I’d go off on him … Paynter goes straight from a 5 ½ furlong debut romp to the SA Derby … Talent … It scares me … Lost by only a few, and if he doesn’t stumble at the get go, who knows where he finishes … Derby Trial was wet … toss it … Paynter can run … You saw it on the Preak undercard … Wasn’t the Derby and Preakness enough … It’s like some sort of sick horror movie reincarnation … Just when you thought Ahmed Zayat and Bob Baffert were off this Triple Crown Trail … Is that Jason Vorhees’ arm coming out of my lake … I’m nervous. I tell ya, I’m nervous.
Dullahan … He was my pick for the Derby for cryin’ out loud … How can I sleep on Dullahan … Literally … I cannot sleep … He just keeps coming … Don’t do it … Don’t you do it, whatever you do, do not look at his running line in the Kentucky Derby again … seven wide on the turn … Still 5th by 7 in the stretch … and then he only missed all the money by 1 ¾ … He’s like one of the powerful Euro horses that just starts to get going after they’ve already run a mile … 12 furlongs for Dullahan, could be like peanut butter for jelly … I need a Triple Crown winner ... And there's Alpha … He’s all about New York … Rousing Sermon can close … Mark Valeski won over the track … Does Atigun remind anybody else of Sarava … I’m nervous. I tell ya, I’m nervous.


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Older Comments about Danger: Triple Crown Buster – Union Rags...

I am a big rags fan & still will be regardless who wins. If I H A beats rags I will just have to nod I H A is a better horse, but will still love them both.
i certainly hope IHA does win th Belmont -- perhaps then this horse will get some respect -- he won the Derby, the Preakness -- what more does he have to do to prove he's good enough.. I hope the horse racing gods permit him to win on June 9 -- so we do have a TC winner & prove everyone wrong about this wonderful animal.
  • shredder · At this point I H A is heads above the rest, should he not win the belmont this horse should still be respected. · 2008 days ago
At this point I H A is heads above the rest, even with a belmont loss this horse should still be respected.
zxswordxz - Good point w/ the length's gained by WTDW and UR but remember that was on Bode not IHA, UR gained 3 lengths on IHA in the last 1/4 and WTDW gained 6 lengths but then proceeded to get beat by 31 in the Preakness. Derby Last Quarter Miles - WTDW 25.11, UR 25.62, Dul 25.87, IHA 26.1 - Those were the top 4. It will be up to Dul and UR to catch IHA and Paynter on June 9th, I can't wait and it is still over 2 weeks out.
I have been betting with my heart my whole life and I will be doing the same when I'll Have Another runs in the Belmont on June 9th. It would be great for TB racing to have a 12th Triple Crown winner. Safe trip to all and Good Luck to I'll Have another and his connections. Be patient Mario its along way home.
Physically, I think UR can take him on, but mentally IHA seems more focussed and keen, a racer as opposed to just a fast runner. However, with JohnnyV, UR might sharpen up where he lags, pull out all the stops and we see what that deep amazing stride can do. Then IHA has to dig deep, again, and we have this great race. God this is good.
A Johnny V and UR union is indeed a TC spoiler waiting to happen! I think he's got as good a shot at 1 1/2 as most. In his trouble trips he's just getting going as the race is ending. Going to be zero sleep June 8th for me, too!
Dullahan is a synthetic horse at best. In the KD on dirt his performance was pathetic, came the last quarter with those blazing fractions to run at in 26.3 thats almost good enough to beat a harness horse, almost.
  • El Kabong · Icy, your math is off. Dullahan's adjusted time at the 8F post is 136.1 if he is 6 lengths behind Bode at 135. His adjusted final time is between 202 and 202.1. That has him coming home in 25.4 which happens to be better than several past Derby winners, including Seattle Slew. When Kent wanted to move him, he was blocked. Instead of building speed he slowed down. Kent was then forced to take Dullahan 7-8 wide only to lose by 1.5 lengths. How does this make his closing effort "pathetic" or make him a " synthetic horse at best?" You must have taken a beating on the race pal because your assessment is nothing but a pile of curbside danish. Dullahan will give IHA the best test at the Belmont and while I am a fan of Dullahan, I will be rooting for IHA. But don't be surprised if this "synthetic horse at best" turns a lot of smiles upside down in the final leg of the crown on Dirt. · 2010 days ago
I made a typo...Dullahan was 7 instead of 5.
Here is some fun fact might shut these rookie up: Going into the final qtr: Dullahan was 5 length and finish 3 length. UR was 16 length and finish 7 length. WTDW was 14 length and finish 4 length. Anyone know where I can finish the qtr timing breakdown for the KD for each horse?
@icyhot - Right on...Went the Day Well and UR actually ran a better last quarter than Dullahan. I laugh at all these comments that Dullahan is IHA best competition in the Belmont. Maybe the all should look at this video and keep an eight on WTDW and UR. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv5MpUFSDNQ
Railbird's got a point about anything can happen. Still, I have a better feeling about IHA than I've had since Charismatic. My biggest fears (in order): 1 the weather. 2) Dullahan who was closing fast in the Derby, coming in on fresh legs. 3) Alpha. 4) UR avoiding traffic in the smaller field and avoiding his drifting. As far as the distance goes, it's really a question mark for all of them (none have gone 12f before) but IHA has the pedigree for it and has finished every race over a mile he's been in very strong.
For those of us who saw the three 70's TC winners, we've been waiting for the next a long time. Anything can happen in the last leg - like BIRDSTONE, eighth in the KY Derby, skips the Preakness and runs down Smarty at 36-1.
UR and WTDW should have finished well in the derby because they were hardly running compared to Dullahan and IHA for the first mile, WTDW showed what type of horse he really is in the Preakness, when the pace slowed down he wasn't in the same ballpark as IHA and Bode, come June 9th we will see what type of horse UR really is but in my opinion the only horse that can beat IHA is Dullahan and with a slower pace again in the Belmont that probably won't happen, IHA is the best horse of his generation.
In the words of immortal trainer Woody Stevens "Once you cross the Hudson, those buildings get awfully tall.” IHA is without a doubt the cream of the crop, but you just never know when they are gonna hit the wall. Here's to hoping it will be some time after the Belmont.
It sure the hell isnt going to be easy thats why no horse has done it in almost 40 years. Everyone is right Dullahan, Rags, Paynter, Alpha are all very, very good and RESTED horses. Lets keep our fingers crossed that all goes well for him and we can all witness history in the making.
My straight hair has gone curly and grey in less than a week..and it's on!!!
A monsoon is coming to end 39 years of drought. This is it. I feel it deep down, a sort of calm that wasn't there for Smarty Jones or Funny Cide or Big Brown or any of them. This is the year.
I like Rags & still will no matter what happens, but judging by performance I have to put I H A in front of him now UNLESS he makes IHA fight for the TC or pull of the upset. I will not disregard rags but just simply have to say IHA is a better horse. I actually would like to see A down the stretch duel between IHA & Rags with IHA winning by a nose. So a horse with a big hart will capture america, be the next TCW & my rags will show everyone he is a good horse & does belong. Rags does have to have a good showing here to prove his talent, AGREED.
  • Bucky · I like rags as well but cant beat my little Ill have another Rags comes in second at bellmont · 2010 days ago
I have no doubt in my mind that UR or WTDW would have win the Derby if they didn't had such a bad trip/post position. UR was dead last heading for the final turn. Then got squeeze again when Julien try to find some breeding room.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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