May 23, 2012

Belmont Stakes Update: Johnny V Picks up Mount for Union Rags

Kentucky Derby* (2011) and Eclipse award winning jockey John Velazquez has been selected as the jockey for Union Rags (Dixie Union colt, a winner of Gr 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes) in the Belmont stakes 2012.

Union Rags was ridden by Julien Leparoux in the last two outings and due to various reasons has not had great success. The colt was bottled up and could only muster a 3rd place in the Gr 1 Florida Derby. In the Kentucky Derby* the horse suffered a bad start, got squeezed bag and still closed fast to make it to 7th. But that was a big disappointment as Union Rags was one of the favorites to win the race (see earlier post).

With his big closing kick, Union Rags is still considered to be one of the contenders at the Belmont stakes, that could pose a serious challenge to Triple Crown hopeful I'll Have Another (Flower Alley colt) who has won the Kentucky Derby* and Preakness and firmly established himself as a superb horse and a solid triple crown contender after many years.

Blood horse has additional coverage on this topic and notes from trainer Michael Matz here.

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