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Jun 01, 2012

John Velazquez gets mount on Union Rags for Belmont Stakes


Elmont, NY (Sports Network) - As expected, there has been a jockey change for Union Rags in the upcoming Belmont Stakes. The colt's exercise rider Peter Brette confirmed on Twitter that John Velazquez will replace Julien Leparoux for the final race of the Triple Crown.

Speculation arose following the Kentucky Derby when Union Rags got a bad start and was never in serious contention. It was the second straight race the colt experienced problems during the running of a race.

Trained by Michael Matz, Union Rags was the 5-1 second choice for the Kentucky Derby and made a late rally to finish seventh. He was the 2-5 favorite in the Florida Derby and finished third.

Leparoux was aboard Union Rags for his last three starts with the only win coming in the Fountain of Youth Stakes in February.

Velazquez is a two-time winner of the Eclipse Award as champion jockey and won the 2007 Belmont Stakes with the filly Rags to Riches.

Owned by Chadds Ford Stable, Union Rags has won four of seven career races for $1,198,800.

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