Union Rags romps in G2 Saratoga Special
RSS Feeds Monday, August 15, 2011
Union Rags became the latest stakes-winning sales grad for Eddie Woods when the 2-year-old colt cruised to a 7 1/4-length victory in the $150,000 Saratoga Special on Aug. 15.

Woods consigned and sold the bay son of Dixie Union this past February at the Fasig-Tipton Florida select 2-year-old sale, where he brought $390,000, one of the top 10 prices for colts in the sale. He was purchased by Phyllis Wyeth's Chadds Ford Stable. Wyeth also bred Union Rags, who originally sold as a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga selected yearling sale.

The sloppy racetrack didn't bother Union Rags in the least as he dueled through a lively opening quarter of :21.78 seconds. He began to assert himself coming into the lane and pulled away to finish the 6 1/2-furlongs in 1:18.33.

“He proved he is a good horse, and I’m really excited about him,” said trainer Michael Matz. “Phyllis [Wyeth], the owner, is a great person. She has had a lot of horses for me, and she told me that one day she would get me a good one. Hopefully we have it.”

“He’s an unbelievable horse,” added winning jockey Javier Castellano. “I got a phone call last week from my agent; he wanted me to work some horses on Tuesday. Jockeys usually take off on Tuesdays since we race six days a week, but I’m so glad he did that to me. When I showed up and worked the horse in the morning, it was unbelievable. I’ve never worked a horse like that and I’ve been very fortunate to ride horses like Ghostzapper and Bernardini.”

The victory also earned Wyeth a bonus of $200,000 as the colt became the first juvenile purchased at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearling sales to win a graded stakes at Saratoga. His total earnings are now $318,800 and he has won both of his starts, with his initial victory coming in his debut July 12 at Delaware Park.

Union Rags is one of seven winners out of the Gone West mare Tempo, whose family includes Belmont S. (G1) winner Colonial Affair and Grade 2 winner Satans Quick Chick.