May 2, 2008 |
For Michael Matz, any trip from his home in Chester County down here to Churchill Downs calls for a journey down memory lane. This year, Matz is back at Barn 42, two years after Barbaro electrified the grounds on the first Saturday in May. But this year's trip is far more than revisiting past glories. Yesterday, Matz talked about how training another horse into the Kentucky Derby is a great thrill. This time, his horse is a come-from-behind colt named Visionaire, a 20-1 shot. "You know, at least I'm part of it," Matz said yesterday morning outside his barn after Visionaire came back from the track.
June 2, 1995 |
After 29 years of riding horses, Michael Matz has learned one thing: Luck plays a big part in making a champion. The two-time Olympian from Collegeville, now competing at the Devon Horse Show, has patiently waited to shake the bad luck that plagued him on the horse show circuit last year. Last night, the standing-room-only crowd at the horse show's biggest event - the $60,000 Budweiser Grandprix of Devon - met him with overwhelming applause. While his horse placed eighth out of 12, the crowd enthusiastically supported him as he manuevered his way over the four- and five-foot high jumps.
May 17, 2012 |
ELKTON, Md. - Michael Matz entered a horse in the Preakness on Wednesday. It just wasn't the horse he had been thinking for months he would be running in Saturday's race at Pimlico. If you had just dropped by Matz's barn at the Fair Hill Training Center on Wednesday morning with no context, it all looked so routine. Sets of horses came off the track as the next group was readied for the track. Some horses walked the shed row. Others were outside getting cleaned up. After the outside work was done, Matz took to the phone to call racing offices to enter horses for weekend races.
June 4, 1993 |
British rider Tim Grubb ended a streak of second-place finishes last night by galloping his way to victory in the $60,000 Budweiser Grand Prix of Devon at the Devon Horse Show. Grubb, a frequent representative of the British Equestrian Team, lives in Whitehouse, N.J., and was the winner with a margin of less than one-tenth of a second on Elan Chemical Co.'s Ever Elan, an 11-year-old thoroughbred Grubb characterized as fast and handy. "He turns really well, he's a handy horse, and he's pretty fast.
May 7, 2006 |
The race had been over for about an hour. Billy Glass, smoking a cigarette and wearing a Barbaro hat, was talking about how he had known Michael Matz for almost 40 years, since they started out on the equestrian circuit - Matz as a rider, Glass as a groom. "He's not a [con artist], and he's not a conniver, and he's not a cheater," Glass said yesterday about the trainer of Barbaro, who won the 132d Kentucky Derby yesterday. "He's just a hard-working, straight-shooting individual.
May 4, 1987 |
Buddy Brown took Aramis cleanly over eight jump-off fences in 46.611 seconds to win the ninth annual Valley Forge Military Academy Grand Prix yesterday on the school's grounds in Wayne. Aramis earned $9,000 from the $30,000 purse for owner Derby Hill Farm. Brown, from Brownsville, R.I., is a former member of the U.S. equestrian team. Second place went to Liran, ridden by Michael Matz of Collegeville. Twelve horses in the starting field of 28 made it to the jump-off by vaulting cleanly over 17 high fences, including a water jump.
May 17, 1993 |
Michael Matz and Rhum IV soared fault-free over eight jumpoff fences to beat Anne Kursinski and Top Seed in the $30,000 St. Christopher's Hospital for Children Grand Prix yesterday at the Radnor Hunt Club. Matz, of Collegeville, reined his horse over the fences on a twisting course in light rainfall in 38.038 seconds. Kursinski, a two-time Olympian, raced Top Seed faultlessly home in 38.105 seconds for owner Hilary Boone of Lexington, Ky. Matz earned a $9,000 first prize for Fitz Eugene Dixon Jr. of Lafayette Hill.
November 4, 2011 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Roy Jackson, co-owner of the great and ill-fated racehorse Barbaro with his wife, Gretchen, said their connection with Barbaro's trainer, Michael Matz, will never fade. "We'll be tied until we're off this earth," Jackson said Thursday. "It still keeps going on. " It just won't continue with more horses. This summer, the Jacksons told Matz they were moving the horses they had with him to another trainer. "I don't know what to say," Matz said Thursday outside his barn at Churchill Downs as he prepares two undefeated 2-year-olds for the Breeders' Cup, with Somali Lemonade racing Friday in the Juvenile Fillies Turf and Union Rags racing Saturday in the Juvenile.
April 17, 2012
Inquirer columnist Bob Ford has won the David F. Woods Memorial Award for the best Preakness story or column for the previous year. The winner is chosen by representatives of Pimlico Race Course, the site of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown. Ford examined the relationship between Fair Hill Training Center-based trainers Graham Motion, who won last year's Kentucky Derby with long-shot Animal Kingdom, and Michael Matz, the trainer of 2006 Derby winner Barbaro.
August 18, 2012 |
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags will begin his stallion career at Lane's End Farm in Versailles, Ky. The 2,000-acre farm made the announcement Thursday on its website. Union Rags, owned by Phyllis Wyeth, retired last month because of a tendon injury in his left front leg. He had a record of five wins in eight starts and total earnings of more than $1.7 million. His stud fee was not announced. Trained by Michael Matz, Union Rags finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby after being squeezed at the start of the race.