Union Rags runs down Paynter in Belmont
We will never know what would have happened if I'll Have Another was able to load the gate yesterday in the Belmont Stakes. What we did witness was that Union Rags was finally able to run and boy did he ever. Stalking the pace setter, Paynter the entire race, he was able to get by on the inside and run him down by a neck at the finish line to show why he was widely considered the top three-year-old at the beginning of the year. With the Triple Crown hopeful out of the picture, Union Rags and Paynter did all they could to put on a show for the 85,811 in attendance plus the millions of viewers watching.
Unfortunately, another year has come and gone with no Triple Crown winner. This goes to show you that this feat is one of, if not, the toughest feat in sports to accomplish. The end of the Triple Crown races also mark the conclusion of the the first half of racing for this talented group of three-year-olds. Many of these horses will get a much needed break before the summer stakes races start to heat up. Union Rags has already been pointed toward the Jim Dandy(G2) or the Haskell Stakes(G1) at the end of July. He will look to build off his win at the Belmont and try to vie for three-year-old horse of the year. As of now it is going to take a strong second half performance to overtake I'll Have Another who captured the horse racing world after running down a talented Bodemeister in the first two legs of the Triple Crown.
*Picked Union Rags to take the Belmont as he finally got a good trip and showed everyone the talent he displayed during his two-year-old campaign. Dullahan just didn't have the same kick everyone saw in the Bluegrass and Derby as he was no where to be found at the end. It will be interesting to see if this horse stays on the dirt or goes back to the turf. The newcomer Paynter almost stole the show but had to settle for second. Atigun was third and cost us the trifecta.
-Check back at the end of July and I will have picks for the summer stakes races.