Kiaran McLaughlin

Heart and 'Sole' in Tampa
Heart and 'Sole' in Tampa

Moving from strength to strength since kicking off his career last October, Sole Volante (Karakontie {Jpn}) has been tabbed the 2-1 morning-line favorite for Saturday's GII Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby. A winner on the turf in his first two starts last season, including the Pulpit S. at Gulfstream Park Nov. 30, the gelding finished a credible third in the Jan. 4 Mucho Macho Man S. and later in the month, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing bought a majority stake in the Triple Crown prospect, joining owners Andie Biancone and Limelight Stables...

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Shadwell To Move McLaughlin Horses to Pletcher

The Shadwell Stable horses currently in training with Kiaran McLaughlin will be moved to Todd Pletcher, Shadwell Vice President and General Manager Rick Nichols announced Thursday. The farm's statement came in response to Wednesday's announcement that McLaughlin was retiring from training at the end of this month to become the agent for jockey Luis Saez as of Apr. 1. Nichol's statement read as follows: "On behalf of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan and all of us at Shadwell, we would like to thank Kiaran McLaughlin and his staff for all of the...

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McLaughlin Leaving Training to Become Saez's Agent

Despite being one of the sport's most successful trainers, Kiaran McLaughlin has decided to switch jobs and has signed on with Luis Saez to be his agent. McLaughlin will continue to train through the end of this month, before going to work for Saez Apr. 1. "I was approached about taking Luis Saez' book and after speaking to my wife, my children, my family, I felt like this was right thing to do," McLaughlin said. "I am very excited. Luis is a great kid and a great jockey." McLaughlin admitted...

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Zulu Alpha Goes For Title Defense in Mac Diarmida

Already a smashing success story as a former claim turned multiple graded stakes winner, Michael Hui's Zulu Alpha (Street Cry {Ire}) enjoyed a dream run along the rail to earn his first top-level score in the GI Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational S. last out, and the hard-knocking gelding is right back in the entry box as he attempts to defend his title in the 1 3/8-mile GII Mac Diarmida S. Saturday at Gulfstream. Haltered for $80,000 out of a dominant optional-claiming victory in the summer of 2018 at Churchill,...

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Feb. 27 Insights: Pricey Curlin Half to Hawkbill Debuts at Gulfstream

4th-GP, $50K, Msw, 4yo/up, 6 1/2f, 2:31 p.m. ET Albaugh Family Stables, which will start likely GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. favorite Dennis' Moment (Tiznow) this Saturday at Gulfstream, also has action Thursday in Hallandale Beach, as they debut the expensive and well-related COASTAL DEFENSE (Curlin) in the day's fourth event. Owned in partnership with Helen K. Groves Revocable Trust, the chestnut hammered for $800,000 at Keeneland September in 2017 and is a half-brother to MG1SW Hawkbill (Kitten's Joy), as well as the Albaughs' GISW Free Drop Billy (Union...

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McLaughlin Opts Out of NY

Kiaran McLaughlin, who has been a fixture on the New York racing scene for over three decades, confirmed to the TDN Thursday he will not be returning to his usual New York training base at Belmont Park this spring. McLaughlin, who is one of several New York-based horsemen who have been investigated by both the New York Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Labor, was fined $304,646 last November by the state Department of Labor for what was reported as a 'violation of minimum wage requirements'. An investigation...

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Second Chances: Prairie Wings

In this continuing series, TDN's Senior Editor Steve Sherack catches up with the connections of promising maidens to keep on your radar. In this edition, the blue-blooded Prairie Wings (Tapit)--from the family of late leading sire Giant's Causeway--is highlighted after a strong debut second at Gulfstream Park Sunday. Previous runners featured in this column include: MGISW and 'TDN Rising Star' Paradise Woods (Union Rags), GSW Backyard Heaven (Tizway) and MSW and 'TDN Rising Star' Gidu (Ire) (Frankel {GB}). Between the $800,000 Keeneland September pricetag and loaded catalog page, sophomore filly...

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Saturday's Insights: Pricey KEESEP Grads On Display at Gulfstream; OBSJUN Topper Debuts in Cali

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 2nd-GP, $50K, Msw, 3yo, 6f, 12:34 p.m. ET Ajhar (Tapit) brought $800,000 from Shadwell Stable at the 2018 Keeneland September sale--he was in fact one of three Tapit yearlings purchased by Shadwell for that amount at that auction and part of a $12,345,000 expenditure at that sale for Sheikh Hamdan's operation. The grey colt is out of 'TDN Rising Star', MGSW and GISP Jojo Warrior (Pioneerof the Nile), who herself is a half to Grade I-winning fellow 'Rising Star' A Z Warrior (Bernardini); GSW/GISP 'Rising...

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Hooked On Horse Racing: Kiaran McLaughlin

Tired of all the bad news? So were we. So, in our new series, we focus on the positive, asking people from non-horse racing families two questions: how they get hooked, and how they'll hook someone else on horse racing this year. KIARAN MCLAUGHLIN, TRAINER What was the experience that made you fall in love with horse racing? I was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, in the horse capital of the world. At that time, everyone knew someone who had something to do with the Thoroughbred industry. For me,...

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Trainers Show Support for Horseracing Integrity Act via Open Letter

Sixteen prominent Thoroughbred trainers have expressed their support for the Horseracing Integrity Act via an open letter "to the Thoroughbred Community" sent out Friday. The trainers who signed on are: Tom Albertrani, Christophe Clement, Ben Colebrook, Gary Contessa, Arnaud Delacour, Janet Elliott, Mark Hennig, Kiaran McLaughlin, Shug McGaughey, Ken McPeek, Tom Morley, Graham Motion, Todd Pletcher, John Sadler, George Weaver and Nick Zito. The letter reads: "Horse racing is at a pivotal moment in its long history in the United States. The past six months presented a string of events...

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Spa Notebook: A Thread of Blue Likely for Jockey Club Derby

A Thread of Blue (Hard Spun), who led every step of the way to cause a 13-1 upset in the 9 1/2-furlong Saratoga Derby Aug. 4, will be pointed for a start in the final leg of the Turf Trinity, the inaugural Jockey Club Derby to be contested over a mile and a half at Belmont Park Sept. 7. "He came out of the race really well, we'll look at [the Jockey Club Derby]," trainer Kiaran McLaughlin told the NYRA notes team. "We weren't sure if he'd get a mile-and-three-sixteenths...

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A Thread of Blue Strings Them Along to Upset Saratoga Derby

The speedy A Thread of Blue got to his preferred spot, loose on the lead, and kept on going to pull a 13-1 upset under Luis Saez in the inaugural $1-million Saratoga Derby Sunday at the Spa. Graduating at third asking in a Belmont off-the-turfer last October, the $430,000 OBS March buy was third in the Awad S. on grass Nov. 4 at Aqueduct before reeling off three consecutive victories over the Gulfstream green, including scores in the GIII Palm Beach S. and Dania Beach S. Nailed late when second...

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