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Gulfstream News & Notes: 12.13.11
Union Rags Resuming Light Training
Turned out at a Wellington, Fla. farm shortly after suffering his first loss by a nose in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) on Nov. 5, Union Rags is a happy horse.
“He’s got a terrific disposition. He’s a real smart horse. I had him in the paddock where he’s away from other horses. He was a little restless in the paddock, so we put him in a paddock right by the side of where the horses go to train. He loved it. He watched them all go by, and he just loved it,” trainer Michael Matz said.
The 2-year-old son of Dixie Union, who won his first three races impressively before experiencing a wide trip at Churchill Downs, will be seeing more and more action in the coming days.
“We got on his back Saturday and just walked him for about a half hour. Starting on the 15th, he’s going to be ridden every day,” Matz said. “Then after the first of the year, we’ll take him down to Palm Meadows to start some serious training.”
Union Rags is expected to prepare for the Triple Crown campaign in Gulfstream Park’s major 3-year-old stakes.
“I would say the logical schedule would be the Fountain of Youth (Feb. 26) and the Florida Derby (March 31),” Matz said. “He’s here and we don’t have to ship around. If something happens where we have a change of plans where we have to do something different, we’re going to nominate him to just about everything.”
Uptowncharlybrown Entered to Race Friday at Gulfstream Park
Trainer Eddie Coletti Sr. had hoped to work Uptowncharlybrown on turf Sunday for a possible return to action over Gulfstream Park’s turf course. Morning rains forced Coletti to send the 4-year-old son of Limestone to the main track, over which he breezed four furlongs in :47.80, before entering him for a dirt race on Friday’s card.
“He’s bred for grass. We’ve really wanted to try him on grass,” Coletti said. “But that having been said, he’s sitting on a win on the dirt, so I don’t want to throw that away either.”
Uptowncharlybrown will be ridden by Rajiv Maragh in Friday’s ninth race, a one-mile optional claiming allowance.
Uptowncharlybrown, owned by a Fantasy Lane Stable membership group of 59 people, was on the Triple Crown trail last year. The son of Limestone finished fifth in the Belmont Stakes before being turned out.
He returned to action at Belmont Park on Oct. 8 to finish second behind speedy Tapizar and ahead of third-place finisher Boys At Tosconova. He finished a troubled fourth in his most recent start at Parx.
“When I got down here he got a little virus that set me back a little bit,” Coletti said. “But he’s doing really well now,” said Coletti.