Union Rags Arrives on Time, But IHA Last One in Stakes Barn
By Dick Downey
After a full morning of activity in Maryland on Wednesday, Union Rags arrived at Belmont Park by van less than an hour before the deadline to occupy the barn for Belmont Stakes contenders.
All the Belmont Stakes contenders were required to be in the special stakes barn by Noon.
Trainer Michael Matz said Union Rags departed Fair Hill Training Center iaround 7:45 a.m. The van arrived a little after 11:00.
“We were the first ones on the track at Fair Hill – we were waiting to get on it at 5:30,” said Matz. “He galloped a mile, we got him back, cooled him out, gave him something to eat, got him on the van and tried to be here before 12 o’clock. The driver did a wonderful job.”
With all that, Union Rags wasn't the last of the 12 Belmont horses to check in -- it was I’ll Have Another.
I’ll Have Another stepped into the shedrow at 12:04 p.m. following a short walk from Mark Hennig’s barn. A gaggle of media followed.
“No complaints, no hurdles,” said trainer Doug O’Neill. “He’s being good.”