04/30/2012 11:44AM

Kentucky Derby 2012: Matz content with Union Rags's demeanor

Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Michael Matz, schooling Union Rags in the Churchill Downs paddock Monday, said he was unconcerned that the 3-year-old was a bit sweaty, calling it "normal" for him.

Trainer Michael Matz was a happy man while standing in his shed row late Monday morning, long after his Union Rags had completed an easy one mile jog and visited the paddock in his first day back to the track since turning in an eye-catching workout at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

“He came out of the work good,” said Matz, who sent Union Rags to the track just before 7 a.m. on Monday. “He’ll go to the track earlier tomorrow morning, around 6 a.m, to gallop a mile. That way I can get my filly [Kentucky Oaks hopeful And Why Not] out afterwards to visit the starting gate. I’ll flip flop them around on Wednesday, she’ll go first and he’ll follow and go to the gate.”

Union Rags, who will vie for favoritism with Bodemeister in the Kentucky Derby, was throwing his head around and did get a little hot during his visit to the track on Monday, neither of which concerns his trainer.

“He’s just playing out there when he tosses his head like that and he’s always tended to get a little hot. He’s a sweater, that’s just him,” said Matz. “If he didn’t sweat I’d begin to worry because I wouldn’t want him to keep it inside.”

Matz’s main concern now is the post position draw on Wednesday.

“I might be the one doing the sweating at the post position draw,” said Matz. “Everything has gone perfect for us up to this point but that’s one thing that is completely out of our control.”