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SportsHorseracing

'Rags' regains pre-Derby stature

Union Rags, inside, with jockey John Velazquez, defeats

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