Kentucky Derby favorite Union Rags, who finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby after a rough trip, will skip the Preakness and await the June 9 Belmont Stakes, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Wednesday.
Article continues below ...
The decision to skip the second leg of the Triple Crown was made Tuesday by trainer Michael Matz and an adviser to the colt’s owner, Phyllis Wyeth.
Matz, who trained the ill-fated Barbaro to Derby glory in 2006, said the two-week span between races would be too short for Union Rags, who was sent off at odds of 5-1 on Saturday in the Run for the Roses.
Union Rags, ridden by Julien Leparoux, saw his Derby chances derailed when he was sandwiched between Take Charge Indy and Dullahan out of the gate.
The colt was left far behind in 18th and was caught in traffic for much of the mile-and-a-quarter journey, making up some ground in the stretch to finish seventh.
It was the second straight race where Union Rags was caught in traffic. He was third in the Florida Derby after encountering trouble.
Matz refused to specify on whether Leparoux will continue as rider, saying he will wait to make a decision after the Preakness is run.
The May 19 Preakness will feature I’ll Have Another attempting to become the first horse since Big Brown in 2008 to win the first two legs of the elusive Triple Crown.