Audubon Goes To West Point's Cugino In Gate-To-Wire Win

Cugino | Coady Media

Cugino has been knocking on the door of a stakes win for Shug McGaughey since breaking his maiden at first asking at Aqueduct last November. In three starts earlier this year, he's been beaten by a length, a neck and a nose to take second in the Colonel Liam S. at Gulfstream in March and the GIII Transylvania S. at Keeneland in April. Caught way back last time out, he still rallied in first-time blinkers to be fourth in the GII American Turf S. on Derby Day last month. Adding just a touch of extra distance Saturday, the 5-2 second choice was ridden hard from the gate by Flavien Prat and was never truly challenged, maintaining a sizable gap on the field through fractions of :23.83 and :48.17 before dashing home to be alone on the wire.

“I think the blinkers have helped him keep focus and has really made him step up his game,” said assistant trainer Reeve McGaughey. “We put them on him last time and he ran a good race but I think the inside post today helped him a little more.”

The half-brother to a pair of stakes runners including MGSP Battle of Normandy (City of Light), Cugino has a 2-year-old War of Will half-brother and a yearling Essential Quality half-brother. Adorable Miss was reported as bred to Speightstown for 2024. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.


AUDUBON S., $275,000, Churchill Downs, 6-1, 3yo, 1 1/8mT, 1:50.22, fm.
1–CUGINO, 118, c, 3, by Twirling Candy
                1st Dam: Adorable Miss (MSW, $162,590),
                                by Kitten's Joy
                2nd Dam: Money Huntress, by Mineshaft
                3rd Dam: Favorite Funtime, by Seeking the Gold
($225,000 Ylg '22 KEESEP). 1ST BLACK TYPE WIN. O-West
Point Thoroughbreds and Jimmy Kahig LLC; B-Gage Hill Stables,
LLC & W. S. Farish (KY); T-Claude R. McGaughey III; J-Flavien
Prat. $163,800. Lifetime Record: GSP, 6-2-3-0, $364,100.
*1/2 to Battle of Normandy (City of Light), MGSP, $291,145
and Veronica Greene (Tapit), SP, $195,500.
2–Lagynos, 118, c, 3, Kantharos–Steamy, by Speightstown.
($200,000 Ylg '22 KEESEP). O-HRH Prince Sultan Bin Mishal Al
Saud; B-Robert Spiegel (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen. $53,000.
3–Camaro Z, 118, c, 3, Liam's Map–Jaylan, by Scat Daddy.
($115,000 Ylg '22 FTKFEB; $210,000 RNA Ylg '22 FTKOCT;
$95,000 2yo '23 EASMAY). O-Terry L. Stephens, Pravin A. Patel
and Tagg Team Racing; B-Al Shaqab Racing (KY); T-Gregory D.
Foley. $26,500.
Margins: 4 1/4, HD, 1 1/4. Odds: 2.67, 6.86, 25.01.
Also Ran: Rock'n a Halo, Cameo Performance, Formidable Man, Thomas Aquinas, Nomos, Can Group. Scratched: Twirling Point.

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