Barbaro Trainer Michael Matz Bringing Union Rags to Kentucky Derby

Why We WatchOfficial AccountApril 19, 2012

The next "Why We Watch" takes us to the world of thoroughbred horse racing… 

It's 5:30 in the morning at the beautiful Palm Meadows training facility in Florida and upon our arrival, we find world-renowned horse trainer Michael Matz is already hard at work.

We caught up with Matz a day before the Florida Derby where his front-runner, Union Rags, would run in an important preliminary to racing’s Triple Crown. This is not unfamiliar territory for Matz. He was, of course, the trainer of Barbaro. 

In 2006, Barbaro famously won the Kentucky Derby and became a favorite to be the first Triple Crown winner in 28 years. However, Barbaro took one wrong step that not only lost the Preakness, but also proved to be fatal. Eight months after the Preakness, Barbaro was euthanized. 

Matz is now back with Kentucky Derby favorite Union Rags.

"Why We Watch" spends time with Matz at his training facility just a day before the Florida Derby. Although Union Rags would lose, he came on notably faster than the two front-runners. The extra 1/8 of a mile should prove to make the difference that Union Rags needs to win the Kentucky Derby.  

Matz could not have been more gracious, as he sat down with "Why We Watch" to talk about the demons of Barbaro and Union Rags' chances at the Run for the Roses. 


Director/Producer: Amir Ebrahimi

DP: Charles Castilla

Editor: Mike Kattenburg

PA: Tom Mazza


Special thanks to:

Michael Matz

Vintage Farms

Palm Meadows Training Facility

Palm Meadows Race Track

Randy Moss

David Joseph

Peter Brette

Stephanie Ball

Paul Madden

Frank L. Festa

Stacy Clark

NBC Sports

NBC Universal

G.D. Hieronymus

Thad Kesten

Jesse Kelsey

Lauren Warren

Julie Balog

Keeneland Race Track