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Union Rags and jockey Javier Castellano win the Gr I Champagne at Belmont Park 10/8/11

Union Rags: descends from 1,000 Guineas heroine Glad Rags

  PICTURE: EquiSport photos/Jessie Holmes 

Gorytus relation sets Gulfstream Park alight

Sunday: Gulfstream Park

Fasig-Tipton Fountain Of Youth Stakes (Grade 2), 3yo, 1m 1/2 f, dirt

UNION RAGS (c DixieUnion - Tempo by Gone West)

AN IMPERIOUS performance in the Fountain Of Youth Stakes over News Pending (by Harlan's Holiday) and Discreet Dancer (by Discreet Cat) confirmed last year's Grade 1 Champagne Stakes hero Union Rags as the leading hope for this year's Kentucky Derby.

The Michael Matz-trained colt is one of three Grade 1 winners by the late Dixie Union, the 2000 Grade 1 Malibu Stakes and Haskell Invitational winner who died at Lane's End Farm in Kentucky in 2010 aged 15.

Although yet to sire a winner at the top level in Europe, the son of Dixieland Band has made his presence felt, notably as thesire of 2006 Cherry Hinton Stakes heroine Sander Camillo and 2008 Prix de Sandringham winner Homebound.

Union Rags is a brother to the stakes-placed Geefour and a half-brother to five other winners including the dam of French Listed winner Vertiformer. This is a family which has enjoyed more than its share of success on the turf as not did his granddam, Terpsichorist, win the Grade 2 Long Island Handicap but she is also a sister to Gorytus, the wide-margin winner of the 1982 ChampagneStakes for Dick Hern.

In turn, Gorytus and Terpsichorist are out of the Vincent O'Brien's 1966 1,000 Guineas heroine Glad Rags.

Union Rags sold for $145,000 to IEAH Stables at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale but was bought back by his breeder, Phyllis Wyeth, for $390,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton Florida Sale.

 

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