'Rags' regains pre-Derby stature

Union Rags, inside, with jockey John Velazquez, defeats

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Union Rags, inside, with jockey John Velazquez, defeats Paynter, with Mike Smith, in the Belmont Stakes horse race. (June 9, 2012) (Credit: AP)

It had been a frustrating spring for trainer Michael Matz, and joy or anguish would come down to this: A hundred yards from the wire, could Union Rags find room along the rail to squeeze past front-running Paynter?

"I didn't know if he was going to get through or not," Matz said Sunday, the day after Union Rags won the 144th Belmont Stakes by a neck for new jockey John Velazquez. "When you...

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