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Profile: Union Rags

Union Rags (Eclipse Sportswire)

Union Rags was one of my favorites last fall, and I remain very high on this horse. He may have finished third in the Florida Derby, but he was in complete control of what was going on in that race.

Union Rags has a very well rounded psychology. He shows the ability to manage space and handle chaos. He has a very big herd dynamic. In every race he runs, I see him influencing the patterns of motion of the other horses. Even if he hasn’t been first at the wire, he has been the best horse on herd dynamic and emotional conformation in every race he runs.

His mental stamina is very high. He targets and releases very well. He’s always aware of what’s around him, but he doesn’t tire mentally.

Unlike the vast majority of racehorses, this is an athlete that does not need a lot of coaching from his jockey. I would tell his jockey to trust the horse. You can’t afford to play it safe with a horse like this and have his pace interrupted, as it was in the Florida Derby. Don’t ask him to go backward or slow down.

Union Rags needs to be allowed to build his momentum, to move freely, within reason. He needs to be up in the fight, because he will take over the space of the other horses, time and time again.

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He really is the most talented in the field, imo. I don’t think he really is at his best unless he is outside and able to stride out. He also doesnt turn especially well on mile tracks, imo.

Posted by LetItRideMike on April 30, 2012 @ 9:11 am

@LetItRideMike – I totally agree Rags is the class of this field. I hope Bode goes off as the favorite because I don’t take favorites and I want to put at least a little something on Union Rags in the derby. I’ve always thought he’s had more to show in a bunch of his races, and I’m thinking Pletcher may be “saving it all up” for the Derby. If he doesn’t have a terrible trip, he should win this race. He doesn’t need a perfect trip to win it though, like others in this field.
My only worry for Rags is if Dullahan, El Padrino or Went The Day Well get him at the wire from behind. I’ll have $ on each of them as well. After reading Kerry’s profiles, maybe Done Talking too!

Posted by adamgraf on May 1, 2012 @ 6:51 pm

Author PhotoKerry Thomas is a groundbreaking researcher of behavioral genetics in horses. He created emotional conformation profiling, which measure’s the mental and emotional capacities of the equine. Horse owners around the world use him to profile and unlock the minds of their horses both in training and pre-purchase evaluations. Thomas’ work in the field of equine behavioral genetics has pioneering applications in all the sport horse industries, including Thoroughbred racing and breeding. Please visit his website for more information. (Author photo: Mary Buckley) More by  ›