Union Rags ready for Florida Derby
Updated: March 29, 2012, 4:28 PM ETBy Jay Privman | Daily Racing Form
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -- As good as Union Rags ran last time out in the Fountain of Youth Stakes, trainer Michael Matz expects an even better performance Saturday, when Union Rags heads the field in the Grade 1, $1 million Florida Derby, which drew a field of nine Wednesday at Gulfstream Park. Union Rags is the favorite not only for the Florida Derby, but for the Kentucky Derby, too. He is the 3-1 choice on the Kentucky Derby future line set by Mike Watchmaker, Daily Racing Form 's national handicapper, and also is the 3-1 favorite on the line set by Mike Battaglia of Churchill Downs for Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which opens Friday and closes Sunday. If not for the head of Hansen in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last fall, Union Rags would be unbeaten in five starts as well as the reigning 2-year-old champion. In his only start since the Breeders' Cup, Union Rags romped to a four-length victory in the Fountain of Youth, a win that re-established his position as the ante-post favorite for the May 5 Derby.
In The Gate Podcast
Interviews with trainer Larry Jones -- who sends out Mark Valeski and Mr. Bowling in Sunday's Louisiana Derby - and the trainer of Florida Derby hopeful El Padrino, Todd Pletcher. Plus, a Barry Abrams commentary on the Maktoum family.
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