Union Rags

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  • carolinarkansascarolinarkansas hot springs, arkansasMember
    The prob with that is the breeders will like his ancestors better than IHA's....and will offer more for his blood lines ...I guess 12 mil....just like Bode
  • cathycathy Member
    edited July 2012
    I hope he goes for 20mil, but what is worrying me is so many of the top 3yr olds are done period, they've been retired due to various injuries. They haven't lived up to their potential and we are flooding the market with well bred but weak legged stallions. I bred QH for 30yrs, and I wouldn't breed to any of the horses retired this year for one basic reason their are many stallions out there with the same bloodlines who retired sound after much longer and more successful careers
  • Yeah....A lot of three year olds are dropping like flies from the tracks.
  • Cathy, the main difference between North American three-year-olds and three-year-olds in the rest of the world is that our horses run on dirt. You'll find some dirt tracks in South America, but not elsewhere. Also, our horses run on drugs that aren't in race-day use in other places. Our horses are not inherently "weak-legged," as you put it. They are subject to more wear and tear due to the track surface.
  • L_Q_Q_KL_Q_Q_K Member
    edited July 2012
    Look at the pedigrees of all of this year's Kentucky Derby runners. All of them had crosses of either Raise a Native (Mr. Prospector) or Northern Dancer. One line of either is not the kiss of death, but multiple crosses is asking for trouble. Ya'll should Google Phalaris disease. It's an eye-opener. Personally, I believe the Godolphin Arabian sire line to be sounder than the Darley Arabian (Eclipse) line.
  • Like I said before it's becoming unheard of to see an American TB race beyond his/her 3rd year which is bad for the industry. The public barely has a chance to become familiar with them and they're gone. What a blessing that we had Zenny racing as long as she did. John is a wise trainer to know what's best for the horse ... look at Ebby, she hasn't run her first race yet and she's well into her 3 year old season. So many trainers run them as 2 year olds and see them suffer from various problems the following year.
    Something has to change for the betterment of the horses.
  • @Crazy4Z, I guarantee you that if you go to any racetrack in the U.S, you will see plenty of 3 year olds racing, and plenty of 4, 5, and 6-year-olds as well. You will even see a few 7 and older. What you are observing is top breeding prospects being retired. In the case of Union Rags, this is to preserve his stud value. He is a millionaire and multiple graded-stakes winner, including a win in an American classic. He doesn't have anything left to prove. It's possible that, if he were to return to racing, he would lose form. Some horses do, because of injury, or because they don't feel like running anymore, or because they've already peaked. His owner has decided it's not worth the risk. If he were a gelding, he'd be back on the track following his convalescence.

    @Hockey Buff, on what do you base your belief that crosses of RAN and ND are somehow less sound? I've seen this asserted before, but I have never seen a good data-driven, statistical analysis that backs this up. I would love to see one if you have a reference. Not sure how you can separate TBs descended from the Darley Arabian as opposed to the Godolphin Arabian (or the Byerly Turk for that matter). Seems to me that their lines of descent are inextricably entwined. Does there even exist a TB that is not descended from both?
  • I still think the top 3 year olds are dropping like flies for one reason or another. Are we flooding the market with young studs? The TB is a horse that is born to run. I just think horses like Union Rags and IHA should be expected to go beyond their 3 year old season. I just like to follow a longer career, I guess.
  • caseycasey any racetrack with camera in handMember
    With all the negative press on IHA's retirement, and the subsequent stud deal, I'm wondering if the NY Times will request Union Rags' medical records and write an article about him having "previous ailments". I'm so sorry that he had to be retired, but I'm glad that another owner made the best decision for her colt.
  • carolinarkansascarolinarkansas hot springs, arkansasMember
    Of course they wont ....seems like negative stuff coming from ny papers and tv...but then r dutrow who has been convicted and sentenced...just keeps on racing even tho he lost his appeal....whereas O'neill was persecuted over one incident that occurred 2yrs ago...and even tho the racing board stated "he did nothing wrong"..he was still "guilty" and punished ...as always ...this is my opinion only ....but HUGE double standard at play here..
  • L_Q_Q_KL_Q_Q_K Member
    edited July 2012
    @Hockey Buff, on what do you base your belief that crosses of RAN and ND are somehow less sound? I've seen this asserted before, but I have never seen a good data-driven, statistical analysis that backs this up. I would love to see one if you have a reference.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/horse/triplecrown08/columns/story?columnist=nack_bill&id=3399004

    Look at the pedigree of EVERY equine mentioned in that article. Names like Pine Island, Ruffian, Go for Wand, Eight Belles, etc.

    Breeders are breeding for the sales ring and not for the race track. Better yet, read Ellen Parker's take on Northern Dancer & Raise a Native here: http://www.reines-de-course.com/unsound_breeding.htm

    Even this forum's very own youngster Mary Cage of Past the Grandstand blog fame is seeing the light as far as the unsoundness of this line.

    I don't have to provide statistical analysis when the catastrophic breakdowns are seen on the track. This year's injury report of all the starters of the Kentucky Derby should lighten you up to the fact that his line is unsound. How many starters of this year's Kentucky Derby are already retired and off to stud. I get sick just like Bill Nack and Ellen Parker over thinking of the resultant madness.

  • Thank you so much for these links. It's really shocking to me that people "in the business" cannot see how badly this makes the industry look. I don't know much about the inner workings of racing, but can see how much has changed with these beautiful horses compared to the 50s, 60s, and 70s. These breeding issues are just ruining this business. I don't know how much longer I can watch these horses being hurt on the track and in training. It is absolutely devastating to see a horse break down, more than I can stand much longer! I sincerely wish someone on this forum would explain why the breeders and owners are letting this keep happening. Can't anyone see what this will end up doing to the sport? It makes me cringe these days watching races, always waiting for the worst. I love the sport and the horses but I wish someone would fix it!
  • Jeez, why the hostility? I asked a question. I don't believe I said anything that should be taken as a personal affront.

    So I guess the answer is no, then?
  • moshokmoshok Member
    If racing were about the horses instead of the profits, no thoroughbred would race at 2. In an ideal world, none would race at 3. Michael Matz is a horseman who babies his charges, and even he couldn't keep Union Rags completely sound.

    I've read posts on other boards criticizing John Sherriffs' handling of Eblouissante. I take my hat off to him for giving her as much time as he continues to do. If she were a colt with a different owner, I suspect the pressure to build stud value before a quick retirement would have lots of other trainers putting her well-being on the back burner.

    Baby Z is one lucky foal.
  • Wow! Great reads! Very grim! Seems hopeless, too! The breed needs a hero, several of them, breeders who are not greedy, but interested in the integrity of the breed. I doubt it will come to be, however. Not enough interest in racing in this country. Where would fresh bloodlines come from, anyway?
  • lauraj - did you mean I was hostile to you? My post wasn't about you, it was about the breeders and owners.
  • edited July 2012
    Sorry, Louise, I was referring to Hockey Buff, not to you. S/he seems to be incensed by my earlier post. I'm not sure why.

  • If racing were about the horses instead of the profits, no thoroughbred would race at 2. In an ideal world, none would race at 3. Michael Matz is a horseman who babies his charges, and even he couldn't keep Union Rags completely sound.

    I've read posts on other boards criticizing John Sherriffs' handling of Eblouissante. I take my hat off to him for giving her as much time as he continues to do. If she were a colt with a different owner, I suspect the pressure to build stud value before a quick retirement would have lots of other trainers putting her well-being on the back burner.

    Baby Z is one lucky foal.
    John S always does what's best for the horse as it should be. And yes, Baby Z is one very lucky colt. He will receive the very best care because his owners are quality people, not in it for the fast buck.

  • L_Q_Q_KL_Q_Q_K Member
    edited July 2012
    Sorry, Louise, I was referring to Hockey Buff, not to you. S/he seems to be incensed by my earlier post. I'm not sure why.
    I'm not incensed about any of your comments directed toward me. I'm incensed by careless breeding to unsound sire lines. If I came across as being angry with you, please accept my apologies.

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  • cathycathy Member
    lauraj_cincannati, my husband and I are in process of moving, otherwise I would have answered you before. I Already made a comment about the race surfaces in the US, but there are more poly than dirt at least on the west coast where I have lived for more than 50yrs. I also know about the "legal" drugs as we had a 2yr QH that we refused to run on any kind of drug, some of us want our horses to excel without additional "help". My dad and I think the same in that aspect, If he didn't have the talent so be it. But, he did have a talent for jumping and has won a bundle$$ as a hunter/jumper(he has cleared 6' more than a handful of times. He is a 16'2" QH, so I think maybe I'm more layed back than alot of the people answering these blogs. I love Queen Z, her baby, the Mosses and anyone conneccted to them. I'm a long way from being nieve(I don't think that is spelled right) or stupid, I would just like to hear some positive feedback instead of all this negitive stuff.
  • cathycathy Member
    Since this blog is suppose to be about Union Rags, what will happen to him? Will he stand is the US, or be shipped to Japan or Austalia, or the UK? What are his actual prospects, after all he's only another 3yr old colt who was retired due to unsoundness. Granted if they the owners wanted to hold him back until his 4yr season they could, but how many owners are like the Mosses, who breed, raise, train and race their horses and love them unconditionally, if they didn't we would never have seen Zenyatta run as a 6yr old, because she had nothing to prove, the Mosses ran her that last year for her fans period
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  • I have had a fabulous time following Zenyatta and then Union Rags. He has such a great story and I was disappointed to see him retired. We now will get so little photos and news about him. But I must say that I was most disappointed in the way Michael Matz was treated by the Wyeths. It was most definitely their decision but to have not told Michael of this before the media was just bad form.
  • EriNCEriNC Member
    With the debate about northern dancer and RAN, yes I believe that their influence in north American breeding( or should that be inbreeding) has hurt the modern day thoroughbred. Since that line has been so heavily introduced we have not had hardly any horses able to go longer than a mile and a half and only two triple crown winners( admittedly Affirmed had RAN as a grand sire) but more and more horses of this bloodline are breaking down, and while yes they usually have talent this just means that the blood lines are continuing on. We need to start looking at our breeding practices in America and look beyond the money, and more to what is good for the breed.
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