04/30/2012 11:44AM

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

Email
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.”

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've cashed good tickets on 16 of the last 20 Derbies (including Mine That Bird and Giaccomo). Last year I had Animal Knigdom enough to save my a**. The point is, you need to watch the prep races over and over to find the "live" horses who have been beaten by the "favorites" but show signs of improving at the right time (May 5). Almost all betters play on the PAST instead of the potential future. I like Alpha and El Padrino in exotics to save my bacon this time. --Red Vino
Mark Kennedy More than 1 year ago
chill rodney it will be ok i wasnt yelling
Mark Kennedy More than 1 year ago
NOW THAT LAST COMBO BUT A LITTLE MONEY ON THOSE TWO AND THAT WILL BE THE CHA CHING
Rodney Dangerfield More than 1 year ago
Mark, The CAPS lock key is on the left of your key board.
pilam76 More than 1 year ago
Left? I THOUGHT IT WAS ON THE RIGHT?!?!?!??!?!?!
Mark Kennedy More than 1 year ago
IF I WERE GOING TO GRAB A CLOSER ILL TAKE DADDY NOSE BEST AND TAKE CHARGE INDY
Mark Kennedy More than 1 year ago
DONT BE SO SURE THAT BOTH BODEMEISTER AND HANSEN COULD BE AT THE WIRE TOGETHER AHEAD OF THE PACK IF TRINNBERG CAN GET AWAY CLEAN BY 6 LENGTHS AND THEN HANSEN AND BODEMSIETER WITH THEIR HIGH CRUISING SPEED CAN BE CLEAR OF THE 3 FLIGHT OF HORSES I SAY WATCH OUT IT MAY BE TO LITTLE TO LATE FOR THE CLOSERS ESPECIALY 13 IN THE 3RD FLIGHT ALL GETTING TANGLED UP
Al More than 1 year ago
1.Bodemeister( WILL win the derby). Alpha? I'll Have Another? Union Rags? Super Box?
John Burton More than 1 year ago
Julian, give him a clear path. Keep him out of traffic and off-the-rail as much as feasible! Ride him like the wind and bring him confidently down the middle of the stretch with a clear path! let him run, Julian, let him run!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I COMPLETELY Agree with you >> He's the Best HOSS>>Let Him Run Early>>Please
RANDY MAYORAL More than 1 year ago
Union Rags regardless if he is the favorite will win the derby, this horse is so intelligent. The key is coming around the far turn he needs to be in the middle of the track to win.
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
Union Rags will not "vie" for favoritism. Millions of unsophisticated bettors will hate his Florida Derby race at face value and toss him.
Mike More than 1 year ago
Don, if you think most people are tossing Union Rags, you're sorely mistaken. He will be no worse than 2nd choice to Bodemeister, and probably the actual favorite. So much information is our now about works, etc., and his Saturday work has stamped him as the one to beat for many "experts." And those "experts" are exactly the people that "unsophisticated bettors" look to for their picks on Derby day.
Olivia More than 1 year ago
Barring a terrible post position, If you get 5-1 on rags, break open the piggy bank and dump it in the windows. Cha ching!!!!
chuckles m More than 1 year ago
I agree toss is a strong word but if you watch his Florida Derby, how can you not come away impressed with the horse? The jockey is another point. I like Dullahan or Rags to win but the difference is I am confident with Desormeaux (need a ride just like Fu Peg) on Dullahan but Laparoux makes me nervous so I am hopeful the Florida Derby was where he got educated. This horse needs to be on the outside aka Monarchos and Real Quiet. Should be a great race and I am betting this exacta HARD!!!
AROL ABEL More than 1 year ago
UNION RAGS IS DEFINITELY THE HORSE TO BEAT. As for people doubting Mr. Leparoux thats a mistake he is the perfect pilot for the colt...after all who is the top Jock for the last 4 years in Kentucky?
Brandon More than 1 year ago
Union will be the favorite, Batagglia watched him all week at Keene before shipped over, he will make him the ML fae. Bode simply won't win, i'd bet on that.
Artax120 More than 1 year ago
At this point-- I see Hansen posing a real problem for Bodemeister and his psyche. He will be able to ignore Trinniberg without any problem, however the key for Bodemeister is if he can shake Hansen who is very formidable early with with a very high individual dynamic, if he can't, it could really dampen Bodemeister's chances, who needs open space. Regardless, the race sets up for a formidable closer who has a very high herd dynamic, and can handle chaos. That horse is Union Rags, who btw is the only horse who has made any impression on me.
Artax120 More than 1 year ago
stalker/closer
Brandon More than 1 year ago
Well said, Hanson will not be going backwards until the last coule furlongs and neither will be out far enough from the back not to get caught by a late runner. When is the last time someone rated right behind the speed and won the derby??