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Florida Derby

SPORTS
April 24, 2012 | Dick Jerardi, Daily News Columnist
The 2012 Kentucky Derby will have more consistent, talented 3-year-olds in the starting gate on May 5 than any Derby in years. An incredible nine of the 14 horses that ran in the 2011 Breeders' Cup Juvenile have won 2012 stakes races. And three horses that did not even run in the Juvenile, the super fast Bodemeister, unbeaten Gemologist and Santa Anita Derby winner I'll Have Another, will all be taking major action at the betting windows. Union Rags, the horse with all the Pennsylvania connections, may not have won his most recent start.
SPORTS
April 17, 2012
Hansen blew his chance to be a Kentucky Derby favorite, finishing second in the Blue Grass Stakes after a daylong art project in which the near-white colt's tail was dyed blue, only to be rinsed off before the race. After being beaten by Dullahan on the final weekend of major Derby preps, Hansen has been replaced by Union Rags at No. 1 on the AP's latest Run to the Roses' Top 10 list of contenders. Union Rags regained the top spot he held for most of the prep season before his third-place finish after a tough trip in the Florida Derby on March 31. Hansen, sent off as the 6-5 favorite in the 13-horse field, took the lead as expected but faded in the stretch as Dullahan rallied for a 11/4-length win over the synthetic Polytrack at Keeneland.
SPORTS
April 2, 2012 | By Mike Jensen, Inquirer Staff Writer
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Horse trainer Michael Matz woke up Sunday about 4 a.m. and, as he always does, looked at his phone. He's got an app on the phone attached to a camera outside the stall of his big horse, Union Rags. "He was just laying down in the stall, laying there with his head on the side, just really resting," Matz said later Sunday morning. "When he's like that, he really takes care of himself well. " On Saturday, Union Rags had finished third as the 2-5 favorite in the Florida Derby.
SPORTS
April 1, 2012 | By Mike Jensen, Inquirer Staff Writer
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - A couple of smart guys, ready to make another move to the betting windows at Gulfstream Park, set their sights on the day's main event, the $1.1 million Florida Derby. "You think this track is speed favoring?" the one guy said. "I'm still not betting against Union Rags," the other answered. "I'm not either," the first said. All eyes Saturday were on Union Rags. NBC's cameras never moved as the rest of the field passed going to the track before the race.
NEWS
April 1, 2012 | By Mike Jensen, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Horse trainer Michael Matz woke up Sunday about 4 a.m. and, as he always does, looked at his phone. He's got an app on the phone attached to a camera outside the stall of his big horse, Union Rags. "He was just laying down in the stall, laying there with his head on the side, just really resting," Matz said later Sunday morning. "When he's like that, he really takes care of himself well. " On Saturday, Union Rags had finished third as the 2-5 favorite in the Florida Derby.
SPORTS
March 31, 2012 | By Mike Jensen, Inquirer Staff Writer
By sunset on Saturday, the Union Rags story will include another important chapter. If this colt, trained by Michael Matz of Barbaro fame and owned by Chadds Ford's Phyllis Wyeth, wins the $1 million Florida Derby impressively, Union Rags won't just be the Kentucky Derby favorite - he already has that claim - but the buzz will grow that maybe this is the year for a Triple Crown horse. It might seem unfair, even crazy, to put that kind of label on a 3-year-old, given the difficulties of the Triple Crown path, but it's a common early-spring fever, and Union Rags picks up believers with every stride, including during workouts.
SPORTS
March 30, 2012 | BY DICK JERARDI, Daily News Staff Writer
HORSE RACING is a sport of anticipation as much as action. It is the waiting that makes it so unnerving, because you are dealing with animals that undergo often imperceptible changes week to week, sometimes day to day and, occasionally, hour to hour. The wait for Union Rags' next race is almost over. It comes late Saturday afternoon in the $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. The competition will be better than the Feb. 26 Fountain of Youth Stakes, the mile and an eighth distance a little longer (110 yards)
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