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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Union Rags, Alpha, Take Charge Indy Breeze


Union Rags, Alpha and Take Charge Indy all breezed at Palm Meadows Training Center Saturday morning.

Union Rags, the son of Dixie Union that made an auspicious 2012 debut in the Grade II Fountain of Youth, covered the distance in 1:04.20 (22/22) under Julien Leparoux.

“It was just a maintenance work. He didn’t go that fast, but Julien said he did everything he wanted him to do,” said trainer Michael Matz. “He’ll work a half-mile next week, and we’ll be ready to go.”

The Grade I Florida Derby is on March 31.


Another possible entrant for the Florida Derby made the Palm Meadows work tab Saturday morning. Alpha breezed five furlongs in 1:01.00 (5/22) for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

Take Charge Indy

And Take Charge Indy breezed five furlongs in 1:01.80 (10/22) for trainer Pat Byrne. Byrne skipped the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby last Saturday -- but he did not  breeze that weekend, either. Byrne, without commenting on the missed work, said they'd wait for the Florida Derby instead of racing from post 10 in Tampa.

“He worked really well as usual,” said Byrne. “He’ll have one more maintenance work next Saturday or Sunday, and we’re ready to go. He’s doing great. I wish the race was next week. The track was not fast this morning.”

Exercise rider Frank Todd was aboard for the workout. Byrne confirmed Calvin Borel as his rider for the Florida Derby.

“I think it was the right decision (to scratch from Tampa). That can be a funny race track to ship and run over the first time, and then as the race turned out, the horses that ran one-two (Prospective and Golden Ticket) came out of the one and two posts. I’m comfortable with where we are. We’ve got a million reasons to go this way.”

--Edited Gulfstream Park release with additional content by Dick Downey

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