Shug McGaughey

A Quick Study on Track, Celestial City Now Teaches at Lowell

By Francis LaBelle, courtesy Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation Celestial City learned how to be a racehorse by continually proving himself against top competition. Each time he raced, he showed that the lessons he was learning were taking hold. Celestial City became a graded stakes winner, but just when his promising career was finally taking flight, he sustained an injury that ended his days as a racehorse. Now, he has a new home and a new purpose. On February 12, Celestial City joined the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation's (TRF) herd at the Lowell...

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Pricey Curlin Filly Sedona Produces a 'Rising Star' Debut

It wasn't the fanciest of jumps from the gate but it was the kick in the late stages which mattered, carrying Sedona (f, 3, Curlin--America {GSW & MGISP, $580,532}, by A.P. Indy) past her rivals to a first-out victory and on to 'TDN Rising Star' honors. The 8-5 favorite as the betting public set their sights on her royalty-befitting auction price and pedigree, the flashy chestnut took some time to find her feet as the entire field, save for one filly who never was involved, disputed affairs at the front....

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Sunday Insight: $2M Full Sister To First Captain Debuts At Gulfstream

7th-GP, $89K, MSW, 3yo, f, 7f, 3:09 p.m. Owned in partnership by Woodford Racing, West Point Thoroughbreds and Chris Larsen, SEDONA (Curlin) debuts Sunday at Gulfstream Park for trainer Shug McGaughey. The full-sister to MGSW/GISP and $1.5m FTSAUG yearling First Captain nearly topped 2022's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale when selling for $2,000,000. Dam America, herself a graded stakes winner and dual Grade-I placed, last went through the auction ring late last year at FTKNOV but failed to meet her reserve at $1,200,000. She also RNA'd for $3.1m at FTKNOV...

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'Rising Star' Conquest Warrior Earns Possible Florida Derby Ticket In GP Allowance Romp

The defection of big-figure maiden winner Speak Easy (Constitution) to Saturday's GII Coolmore Fountain of Youth S. made the task at hand for 'TDN Rising Star' Conquest Warrior (c, 3, City of Light--Tea Time, by Pulpit) that much easier on paper, and the Courtlandt Farms colorbearer made light work of the six rivals that stuck around to likely punch his ticket to the GI Curlin Florida Derby in four weeks' time. Away only fairly, the 3-5 chalk was handy enough to the early pace of 5-2 second pick Merit (Mastery)--rerouted...

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Friday Insights: 'Rising Star' Conquest Warrior Returns To Action At Gulfstream

7th-GP, $75K, A/OC, 3yo, 1 1/8m, 4:08 p.m. Courtlandt Farms' CONQUEST WARRIOR (City of Light) impressed in his Gulfstream debut Jan. 13 and earned 'TDN Rising Star' status for trainer Shug McGaughey. The $1,000,000 Keeneland September yearling bumps up into allowance company over the local main track Friday and adds an extra 1/8-mile to boot as he preps for a potential run at an upcoming GI Kentucky Derby prep. Conquest Warrior enters off a bullet five-furlong drill Feb. 24 (1:00 3/5 {1/7}). While main rival Speak Easy (Constitution) will scratch...

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Speak Easy Confirmed for Fountain of Youth

Siena Farm and WinStar Farm's Speak Easy (Constitution), who had been cross-entered in an optional-claimer Friday, will take his place in the line-up for Saturday's GII Coolmore Fountain of Youth S. at Gulfstream Park. The sophomore debuted with an impressive victory going seven furlongs at the Hallandale oval Jan. 27. He drew the rail and will be facing eight other 3-year-olds in the 1 1/16-miles Fountain of Youth. "We like the post and the way he's been training," trainer Todd Pletcher said Thursday. Irad Ortiz Jr., who was slated to...

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Curlin's Corporate Power Game at Second Asking in Gulfstream Maiden Win

4th-Gulfstream, $70,000, Msw, 2-24, 3yo, 1 1/8m, 1:51.08, ft, neck. CORPORATE POWER (c, 3, Curlin--Road to Victory {GSW-USA, SW-Can, $248,336}, by Quality Road), featured in Steve Sherack's 'Second Chances' series following a useful debut fourth-place finish behind the promising duo of Speak Easy (Constitution) and Victory Avenue (Arrogate) after getting bumped at the break going seven furlongs in a very live maiden special weight going seven furlongs on the Pegasus World Cup undercard Jan. 27, delivered as the 6-5 favorite in thrilling fashion here. Stretching out to 1 1/8 miles,...

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Dual Grade III Winner First Captain to Brazil

MGSW First Captain (Curlin-America, by A.P. Indy) has been retired and will stand the 2024 Southern Hemisphere season at Stud Eternamente Rio in Brazil, according to Turf Diario. The 6-year-old, who arrived in Brazil Feb. 9, was acquired by a partnership that includes Stud Enternamente Rio, Stud Red Rafa and Stud H e R. Bred by Bobby Flay, who also campaigned GSW America, the colt brought $1.5 million at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Sale in 2019. Flay retained a piece of the colt, who was ultimately raced by a partnership...

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TDN Sophomore Top 12: 'Rising Stars' Anchor Top Three Spots

You may have noticed a change in the title of this column, from "Derby Top 12" to "Sophomore Top 12." Churchill Downs, Inc., has barred trainer Bob Baffert from competing in the GI Kentucky Derby, and that left us in a quandary over how to assess the nation's best 3-year-old prospects. It didn't seem right to dismiss the accomplishments of elite-level sophomores, regardless of whether they were eligible for the Derby or not. Nor did it seem proper to ignore the benchmarks their performances provide to help establish the overall...

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Second Chances: 'It's All Systems Go to a Two-Turn Spot' For Pricey Son of Curlin Corporate Power

In this continuing series, TDN's Senior Racing Editor Steve Sherack catches up with the connections of promising maidens to keep on your radar. In a race completely dominated on the front end, Corporate Power (c, 3, Curlin--Road to Victory, by Quality Road) stamped himself as one to watch finishing with interest for fourth in an absolutely stacked maiden special weight on the Pegasus World Cup undercard at Gulfstream Park Jan. 27. Out of the blocks last of 11 at debut odds of 17-1 for Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, the...

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Homebred Mystifying Holds On To Graduate At First Asking In Hallandale

6th-Gulfstream, $70,000, Msw, 1-14, 3yo, f, 6f, 1:11.68, ft, 1/2 length. MYSTIFYING (f, 3, Curlin--Puzzling {SP, $127,312}, by Ghostzapper) debuted with Lasix and as a 7-1 shot here. The homebred hustled for the lead to the inside of a pair of competitors up the backstretch. Poking her head in front around the far turn, the filly continued to pour on the speed at the top of the lane and she gamely held off the favorite Bedazzle 'Em (American Pharoah) to graduate by half a length. "Jose [Ortiz] worked her out...

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Conquest Warrior Lives Up To His Name In 'Rising Star' Graduation

Despite enduring a season's worth of trouble in Saturday's ninth race maiden at Gulfstream, Courtlandt Farm's Conquest Warrior (c, 3, City of Light--Tea Time, by Pulpit) snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and with it, became yet another 'TDN Rising Star' for his Lane's End-based sire in jaw-dropping fashion. Pinched back badly and pinballed around in the opening strides, the $1-million Keeneland September graduate was relegated to a detached last early on, but began to improve his position and finally entered the picture as they passed the half-mile marker...

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