Union Rags is the new Bodemeister.
People seem to like him so much, they'd rather him be the morning line favorite rather than I'll Have Another.
So many things seem to be going Union Rags' way: his trainer is awesome, he's fresh from skipping the Preakness, he was the morning line favorite at the Kentucky Derby and he's had a pretty good 3 year-old campaign.
Then there are the things that aren't going so well for Union Rags: he finished a very disappointing 3rd in the Florida Derby and an equally disappointing 7th in the Kentucky Derby. Both were blamed on awful trips, which may have been the primary cause. Union Rags, however, seems to have a knack for bad trips which is very disconcerting.
Most handicappers will tell you to discount a bad performance if the horse had to deal with things out of his control (bumping, ferocious pace, blocked lanes, etc.) and to give the horse the benefit of the doubt. However, if bad trips are the norm for a horse rather than the exception, his character needs to be called into question. There is no doubt that Michael Matz is a stellar trainer and that Union Rags is a stellar specimen, but when do we stop looking at Union Rags' talent and look at his personality?
There is a question of whether or not Union Rags can overcome a tendency toward being timid and afraid when challenged. If he is bumped at the start of this Belmont, there is little chance he'll come back to win.
That's the catch: don't bet on Union Rags to win. Bet him to show or place or include him in an exotic box, but it will be a dangerous play to bet him to win.