08/16/2012 4:16PM

Union Rags to enter stud at Lane's End Farm next season

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Barbara D. Livingston
Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags won five of his eight career starts and more than $1.8 million

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags will enter stud at Lane’s End Farm next year, the Versailles, Ky., farm announced Thursday.

Phyllis Wyeth’s homebred retired in July after he developed a small lesion of the high suspensory ligament in his left front leg. Lane’s End will announce a stud fee later.

The 3-year-old colt is by Dixie Union, who stood at Lane’s End until his death in 2010.

Union Rags won his first three starts, including a 7 1/4-length victory in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special followed by a 5 1/4-length win the Grade 1 Champagne, in 2011 and then finished a head behind Hansen in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, a loss that helped propel Hansen to divisional honors. But Union Rags returned at 3 to score by four- lengths in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth. After a third as the favorite in the Florida Derby, Union Rags had a troubled trip in heavy traffic at the Kentucky Derby and finished seventh. He rebounded to take the Belmont by a neck over Paynter in what would be his final start.

Union Rags earned $1,798,800 from five wins, one second, and one third in his eight lifetime starts.

Wyeth bred the colt from Tempo, a mare whose family was long connected to Wyeth’s; her second dam, Glad Rags II, was a foundation mare for Wyeth’s mother, Alice du Pont Mills. And Tempo’s sire, Gone West, was owned by Wyeth’s father, James Mills. Wyeth became attached to Union Rags immediately after his March 3, 2009, birth and intended to keep him to race. She later blamed her accountant for pressing her to sell her favorite horse.

Offered at Fasig-Tipton’s 2010 Saratoga select auction, he brought $145,000 from IEAH Stable. When IEAH pinhooked him to the Fasig-Tipton Florida select 2-year-old sale the following spring, Wyeth sent her longtime friend and advisor Russell Jones to buy him back again. Jones retrieved Union Rags for $390,000.