Union Rags, as a sire, had a huge presence on Oaks day, May 5 and Derby day, May 6, but unfortunately his get could come up with no more than two second places finishers in stakes on the under cards of both days.
Undone by various factors ranging from an incredibly sloppy track that didn’t play to their preferences to horrible racing luck, from five starters on the two days Union Rags’ get had two seconds, a seventh, a 10th and a 14th.
However, with this group of 3-year-olds being just his first crop, Union Rags’ success as a stallion seems assured.
Between the Oaks and the Derby, Union Rags sired three entrants, Tequilita, Paradise Woods and Patch, more than any other stallion.
Quality Road and Malibu Moon each sired two entrants in the two races while the remaining 27 sires had one apiece.
In the Oaks, Paradise Woods broke on top but was challenged by Miss Sky Warrior, and the pair set fractions of 22.79, 46.24 and 1.11.42 in such terrible going that they completely did themselves in, with Paradise Woods finishing 11th.
To show not only how sloppy the track was but also how holding, Miss Sky Warrior lost three shoes.
Meanwhile, Tequilita bumped with Miss Sky Warrior at the start, raced five wide and put in a belated run in the stretch to finish seventh,
“The track was really muddy, and she didn’t like the track,” said Tequilita’s breeder and owner D.D. Matz. “She got hit coming out of the gate, and then a horse leaned on her all the way down the backside, and that discouraged her. She’s never run in a field that big before. She got running in the stretch, but it was too little too late.”
“She was bucking when they took her out to walk her the next day,” said Matz. “She was back at Fair Hill on Sunday. We’ll see how she’s doing and let her tell us where to go next.”
Abel Tasman, who had been soundly beaten by Paradise Woods in the Santa Anita Oaks, won the Oaks by 1 ¼ lengths over Daddys Lil Darling with Lockdown third,
IRISH WAR CRY, the New Jersey bred colt who was one of the favorites in the Derby, didn’t like the going, either.
Irish War Cry, owned by Isabelle de Tomaso, a daughter of Amory Haskell and a member of that prominent New Jersey family, was bred at Overbrook Farm in Colts Neck, N.J., a fact incorrectly stated in the preview of the Derby, where it was said he was foaled in Holbrook, N.J..
Irish War Cry bore in at the start, starting a chain reaction of trouble, then straightened and raced four wide, stalking the pace set by State of Honor, who was closely followed by the winner, Always Dreaming.
At the top of the stretch he looked like a possible winner, but instead he stopped and finished 10th.
“It wasn’t the result we were hoping for,” said Isabel Ellis, a niece of de Tomaso and the family spokesperson. “He looked good at the top of the stretch.”
Ellis said Irish War Cry would not o to either the Preakness or the Belmont but will be aimed at Haskell Invitational Stakes at Monmouth Racetrack on Sunday, July 30,
Ellis said that the Haskell , because of the family’s connection to it, had been the main goal all along.
De Tomaso’’s father Amory Haskell was an influential New Jersey horseman who was appointed president and chairman of Monmouth Park Jockey Club in 1945 and guided that organization through its opening in 1946 and continued at the helm until his death on April 12, 1966.
The Haskell Invitational is named in his honor.
Patch, by Union Rags, seems appropriately named as he lost an eye to an infection as a yearling, but he was, in fact, named prior to that,
He had to break from the 20th slot, the far outside position and was moved inside after the break. He moved up between rivals leaving the far turn, but he was checked and bounced around with Girvin near the five sixteenths, causing him to lose any chance.
The Pa-bred Fast and Accurate ran fifth early, was checked off heels leaving the three-eighths and again in upper stretch and gave was to finish 17th,
UNION STRIKE just missed by a head to finish second to Benner Island in the $200,000 G2 Eight Belles Stakes on the Oaks undercard on May 5.
Union Strike, a daughter of Union Rags owned by Ruis Racing LLC, broke awkwardly, then was hustled up inside leaving the chute.
She quickly gained along the rail into the lane and loomed a major presence inside winner, but she had to move outside after n opening closed.
She advanced between foes from a sixteenth out, made a bold run once uncovered, drew on near even terms and lost the head bob.
No Dozing, by Union Rags, was bred by Mr. and Mrs. M Roy Jackson of Unionville, Pa., and is owned by their Lael Stable.
He finished second to Wild Shot in the, $250,000 G3 Pat Day Mile Stakes on the Derby undercard on May 6 after a difficult trip.
No Dozing had a bad beginning as he was fractious in the gate and broke slowly.
He shifted out five wide to get clear and commenced his rally, but he had to circle nine wide going into the stretch,
He kicked on well but failed to menace the winner.
The Pa-bred Finest City, who won the Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Sprint last year and was the Eclipse Award 2016 Champion Female Sprinter, also had to circle very wide going into the stretch and just missed by a neck to win the $300,000 G1 Humana Distaff Stakes on May 6.
By City Zip out of Be Envied, by Lemon Drop Kid, 5-year-old Finest City was foaled at Northview Pa.
She stalked the pace early from the seven path, went into the six path entering the lane and made a bid in the stretch.
She had a long drive from between horses, but she just missed by a short neck in the final stages.