Shug McGaughey

Empire Maker Filly Comes Out Running for Shug

2nd-Belmont, $80,000, Msw, 10-18, 2yo, f, 6f, 1:10.84, ft, 3 1/2 lengths. CAFE SOCIETY (f, 2, Empire Maker--Full Tap, by Tapit), let go at 10-1 from a 7-2 morning line for a barn that doesn't win with many firsters and doesn't train many 2-year-old sale grads, proved best of a promising-looking group Sunday at Big Sandy. Away alertly to press favored second timer Exact (Competitive Edge) through a :22.67 opening quarter, the bay challenged for the lead through a :46.08 half. She put away that foe by midstretch, and ran...

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Performer Returns Running at Belmont

3rd-Belmont, $67,900, Alw (C), Opt. Clm ($80,000), 10-17, 3yo/up, 1m, 1:33.93, my, 1 3/4 lengths. PERFORMER (c, 4, Speightstown--Protesting {GSP, $213,050}, by A.P. Indy) made light work of his first start since taking the GIII Discovery S. last November, galloping home as easy as you please in a one-mile Belmont allowance Saturday afternoon. Quickly into stride beneath Joel Rosario, the attractive chestnut colt raced a touch keenly from third while hugging the rail through solid opening splits. Rosario decided he could wait no longer rounding the turn and allowed the...

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Colt by Freshman Sire Frosted Graduates at Belmont

8th-Belmont, $63,000, Msw, 10-16, 2yo, 1 1/16m, 1:43.43, sy, 8 lengths. TEN FOR TEN (c, 2, Frosted--Summer Vacation, by Eskendereya) kicked off his career with a second-place effort sprinting six panels at Saratoga Sept. 7 and was backed down to slight 2-1 favoritism while getting blinkers in his route debut. Hustled to the front by Jose Ortiz straight off the blocks, the $410,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase repelled a bid from 2-1 chance Savoy (Honor Code) approaching the quarter pole and spurted clear through the lane, scoring by an impressive...

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Friday’s Insights: Full-Brother to Constitution Debuts at Belmont

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 8th-Belmont Park, Msw, $63k, 2yo, 1 1/16m, post time: 4:14 p.m. Bridledwood Farm and Don Alberto's homebred CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (Tapit), a full-brother to multiple Grade I winner Constitution, debuts for trainer Todd Pletcher. Bridlewood and Don Alberto partnered to purchase the gray colt's dam Baffled (Distorted Humor), in foal to Tapit, for $3.5 million at the 2016 Fasig November sale. Don Alberto bought out the parnership for $1.8 million at last year's Fasig November sale. The mare's yearling filly by Medaglia d'Oro sold to Mandy...

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War Front’s Civil Union Finishes Fastest in Flower Bowl

The 3-1 third choice in a field of seven, Joseph Allen's progressive Civil Union (War Front) built on her last-out success in the GII Glens Falls S. at Saratoga with a breakthrough top-level tally in Saturday's GI Flower Bowl S. at Belmont Park, securing a berth in the gate for the GI Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf in the process. Allowed to settle last but one beneath Joel Rosario, with only G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Sottsass (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr})'s half-sister, French and American Group...

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Oct. 10 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency WELL-BRED TRIO DEBUT AT BELMONT 3rd-BEL, $63K, Msw, 3yo/up, f/m, 7fT, 1:26p.m. Michael Tabor's THE GIRL HERSELF (American Pharoah) is one of three blue-blooded fillies making their career bow in this test. Out of Grade I winner Circle of Life (Belong to Me), the bay is a half to Grade I-winning sire Circular Quay (Thunder Gulch) and MGSP The Roundhouse (Fusaichi Pegasus). Juddmonte homebred Nubian (Pioneerof the Nile) also looks to open her account here. The bay is a daughter of European champion Special Duty...

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Code of Honor Meets Complexity in Kelso

W.S. Farish's multiple Grade I winner Code of Honor (Noble Mission {GB}) will meet surging 'TDN Rising Star' Complexity (Maclean's Music) for the first time since their juvenile season over a flat mile in the GII Kelso S. Saturday at Belmont. Second to Complexity at 14-1 in the GI Champagne S. here two falls ago, Code of Honor captured the GII Xpressbet Fountain of Youth S. two starts later and was runner-up via disqualification in the GI Kentucky Derby two starts after that. Dominating the GIII Dwyer S. over track...

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Code of Honor Pointing for Kelso Handicap

Code of Honor (Noble Mission {GB}) will not be back to defend his title in the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup and will instead make his next start going a mile in the GII Kelso H. at Belmont Oct. 3. "I said all along after the Whitney that I was going to start all over again," trainer Shug McGaughey said. "I thought the Kelso was a good spot to start over again, running him at a mile instead of a mile-and-a-quarter in the Gold Cup after he's been away for...

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Sept. 19 Insights

SATURDAY'S RACING INSIGHTS: By Christie DeBernardis Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency WELL-BRED CURLIN COLT DEBUTS IN NY 6th-BEL, $63K, Msw, 2yo, 1m, 3:36 p.m. St. Elias Stable homebred KNOWN AGENDA (Curlin) makes his career bow in this spot for Todd Pletcher. The chestnut is out of GISW Byrama (GB) (Byron {GB}), who is a half-sister to GSW Klammer (GB) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}). He enters off a pair of bullet works, most recently covering a half-mile in a best-of-29 :48 2/5 on Saratoga's Oklahoma training track Sept. 14. His entry-mate...

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Monday’s Insights: Saratoga, Del Mar Meets End with a Bang

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 3rd-Saratoga, $72k, Msw, 2yo, f, 1 1/16mT, 12:33 p.m. Bill Mott saddles Godolphin's debuting SERENE (Tapit), an $800,000 Keeneland September Yearling purchase last year. The chestnut filly is a daughter of multiple Grade I-placed Fascinating (Smart Strike). Out of graded stakes winner Untouched Talent (Storm Cat), Fascinating is a half-sister to Grade I winner Bodemeister (Empire Maker). Also debuting is Peter Brant's Editor at Large (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}). The Chad Brown trainee was a 260,000gns purchase at last year's Tattersalls October sale. Todd...

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Enola Gay Flies Into Saratoga Oaks

Allen Stable's Enola Gay (Uncle Mo) will look to make it two in a row when she goes postward as the morning-line favorite in the Saratoga Oaks at Saratoga Sunday. The Joe Allen homebred opened her career with an impressive debut win at Kentucky Downs, but went to the sidelines following a fourth-place effort over the Aqueduct lawn in the six-furlong Stewart Manor S. last November. Stretched to a mile while making her return in the GII Appalachian S. at Keeneland last time out, the bay filly closed stoutly to...

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McGaughey Looks to Add to Whitney ‘Honor’ Roll

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Following the draw for the GI Whitney S. Wednesday morning, trainer Shug McGaughey answered more questions about his previous Whitney winners than this year's runner, Code of Honor (Noble Mission {GB}). McGaughey, a member of racing's Hall of Fame since 2004, will try for his fourth victory in Saratoga's premier dirt race for older horses Saturday with William Farish's 4-year-old homebred colt. The chestnut drew in the middle of the strong five-horse field, that features Tom's d'Etat (Smart Strike), who has won four straight stakes, and...

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