Shug McGaughey

Kitten's Joy Colts Clash in With Anticipation

A pair of impressive debut winners by the same sire earlier in the meet at Saratoga, one each from the Shug McGaughey and Chad Brown barns, figure to take the bulk of the play in a seven-horse renewal of the GIII With Anticipation S. for juvenile males going 1 1/16 miles on turf to kick off closing week Wednesday at the Spa. Given the nod at 7-5 on the morning line is Stuart Janney's homebred Limited Liability (Kitten's Joy). Racing with just one horse beaten early debuting over this course...

[ Read More ]
Trainers React to Navarro Guilty Plea

On Wednesday, disgraced trainer Jorge Navarro pled guilty to one count of distribution of adulterated and misbranded drugs with the intent to defraud and mislead, a major development in the doping scandal that has rocked the sport since indictments were announced in March of 2020. Navarro will likely spend time in prison and has been ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $25,860,514. His career is over and he may be deported to his native Panama. But was this good day or bad day for the sport?  And what...

[ Read More ]
First Captain to Skip Travers

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY--Four-time GI Runhappy Travers S.-winning trainer Shug McGaughey said Thursday that First Captain (Curlin) will not run in Saratoga's signature race Aug. 28. Godoplphin's Essential Quality (Tapit), the winner of seven of eight career starts, including the GI Belmont S., is the headliner for the 152nd running of the $1.25 million Travers. Though the chestnut colt is fine following his third-place finish in the Curlin S. July 30, McGaughey decided to pass on the Travers and point to the GI Pennsylvania Derby Sept. 25. "I just don't think...

[ Read More ]
Lemon Drop Kid Firster Good As 'Gold' At the Spa

1st-Saratoga, $100,000, Msw, 8-7, 2yo, 1 1/16mT, 1:44.28, fm, 2 1/4 lengths. DRIPPING GOLD (c, 2, Lemon Drop Kid--Aurelia, by Danzig) was let go at a generous 63-10 off a 9-2 morning line and took advantage of a golden trip to score by a comfortable margin in the Whitney Day opener at Saratoga. In the early vanguard, Dripping Gold came back to Jose Lezcano to sit a close-up fourth for the opening six furlongs. Pulled off the inside to deliver his challenge passing the quarter pole, he pinched a winning...

[ Read More ]
Curlin 'Rising Star' Fittingly Favored in Curlin

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY--After capitalizing on an opportunity against a small field in the GIII Dwyer July 5, unbeaten 'TDN Rising Star' First Captain (Curlin) returns to trainer Shug McGaughey's original schedule Friday in the $120,000 Curlin S. at Saratoga Race Course. In his first start away from Belmont Park, the chestnut colt will face six other 3-year-olds in the 1 1/8-mile race that returns after being dropped from last year's COVID-19-scrambled season program. His competition includes GII Wood Memorial runner-up Dynamic One (Union Rags), who is making his first start...

[ Read More ]
Sunday Insights: Daughter of Oaks Winner Debuts at Spa

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 7th-SAR, $100k, Msw, 3yo/up, f/m, 7f, 4:29 p.m. ET Bobby Flay's MEZCAL (Pioneerof the Nile), the first foal out of 2016 GI Kentucky Oaks winner Cathryn Sophia (Street Boss), makes her debut in the seventh race at Saratoga Sunday. The 3-year-old filly, a $625,000 KEESEP yearling, is trained by Todd Pletcher. Bridlewood Farm and Don Alberto Corp. purchased Cathryn Sophia, with this filly in utero, for $2.3 million at the 2017 Keeneland November sale. Courtlandt Farms' Big City Momma (Quality Road), a $700,000 KEESEP purchase,...

[ Read More ]
Racing Insights for July 17

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 5th-SAR, $100k, Msw, 2yo, 5 1/2f, 3:23 p.m. ET Annette Allen and Helen Alexander's Montauk Point (Violence) makes his first start for the Shug McGaughey barn here. The $550,000 Fasig-Tipton Select Yearling Showcase grad--the priciest yearling by his Hill 'n' Dale sire to sell last season--is half to none other than 2019 GI Test S. and GI Breeders' Cup F/M Sprint heroine Covfefe (Into Mischief), who garnered both champion 3-year-old filly and champion female sprinter honors for that campaign. The chestnut hails from the uber...

[ Read More ]
Two Fresh Forces For The Next Cycle

Every year, like the fireflies, they emerge with the gathering heat of summer. Even as the more established sophomores hobble out of the Triple Crown series--many requiring rest or recuperation, some even menaced by retirement--a second wave reliably reinvigorates the crop. Sure enough, in recent days a couple of new names have volunteered themselves to test the resilience of those Classic protagonists who do persevere to Saratoga and beyond. But while both share a fresh, progressive profile, in other respects they could scarcely be more different. 'TDN Rising Star' First...

[ Read More ]
Max Shows Honor Still Cracking the Code

When a horse carries a name like this, there can be no evasion or equivocation. With due honesty, then, let us admit that Honor Code is not yet converting his transparent eligibility as a stallion--apparently so watertight in pedigree, physique and performance--in quite the fashion that seemed likely when he produced the luminous Honor A.P. from his very first crop. Not yet. Small, agonizingly flexible words, in the context of a suffocatingly impatient marketplace. By any rational measure, it should still feel like early days in Honor Code's stud career....

[ Read More ]
First Captain Sails to Dwyer Win

West Point Thoroughbreds, Siena Farm, Bobby Flay and Woodford Racing's First Captain (Curlin) remained unbeaten with an authoritative victory in the GIII Dwyer S. at Belmont Park Monday. Sent off the 2-5 favorite, First Captain raced at the back of the five-horse field as Ridin With Biden (Constitution) set the pace under a snug hold through an opening quarter in :23.47. The pacesetting longshot was still a length in front after a half in :46.67, but First Captain was tipped out for clear sailing at the top of the lane...

[ Read More ]
First Captain Takes Next Step in Dwyer

Two-for-two 'TDN Rising Star' First Captain (Curlin) takes the next logical step in Monday's GIII Dwyer S. at Belmont Park. The $1.5-million Fasig-Tipton Saratoga co-topper defeated subsequent winner and 'Rising Star' recipient Mahaamel (Into Mischief) in their respective debuts going a furlong shorter here Apr. 24, then doubled up in a track-and-trip allowance in the slop May 29, good for a 95 Beyer Speed Figure. First Captain is owned by a powerful conglomerate led by West Point Thoroughbreds and conditioned by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey. "We're super excited and...

[ Read More ]
Hall of Fame Assistants

The relationship between trainer and assistant can often be tumultuous and fleeting, while in other instances, it can prove life-altering and enduring. And every once in a while, the spark ignites, paving the road to great glory and even the Hall of Fame. When it was announced that trainer Todd Pletcher would be inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame this summer, most could not have been surprised that the 53-year-old would have been granted the honor in his very first year of eligibility. In truth, there...

[ Read More ]
Exit Box x
X

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.