By Dick Downey
Union Rags, Gemologist and El Padrino's trainers pulled audibles today, breezing ahead of announced plans. In each case, connections were looking at weekend rain forecasts.
At Keeneland, Union Rags worked furlongs in :47.50, breezing. Keeneland reported in a tweet that his splits were :12.06, :24.03 and :35.81. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:00 and six in 1:15.12 for trainer Michael Matz.
Keeneland clocker Stephen Skaggs said Union Rags "covers a lot of ground, (has a) huge stride and did not get hot."
“I thought he went well,” Matz said. “It was nothing spectacular, but he did it nice and galloped out fine. He was doing a two-minute lick before he got to the half-mile pole. It was a good work, and we will ask more of him in his next work.”
That next work would come at Churchill Downs next Saturday or Sunday, again depending on weather, according to Matz. The trainer said Union Rags would ship to Louisville most likely after the middle of next week.
“If it gets cold and damp as is predicted, he will be right here in this barn in the morning,” Matz said.
At Palm Meadows, Gemologist went five furlongs timed by Mike Welsch of Daily Racing Form in 1:00.84, breezing. Welsch tweeted that Gemologist went in company with Overdriven and was out six furlongs in 1:14.13.
The same report has El Padrino going five furlongs at Palm Meadows in 100.48, breezing in company with stakes winner Hudson Steele, and out six furlongs in what is described as a "strong" 1:13.24.
Let's Go Stable tweeted that splits were :13.20, :25.40 and :37.20 with a gallop-out times of 1:13.20, 1:26.80 and 1:41.60. "Everybody is very happy," the tweet said.
Todd Pletcher trains both Gemologist and El Padrino.