Shug McGaughey

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...

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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...

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June 3 Insights: Following Sea Goes First Out for Pletcher at Belmont

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 3rd-BEL, $92K, Alw, 3yo/up, 6 1/2f, 4:09 p.m. ET Spendthrift Farm made waves when it announced, following the failed drug test of GI Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit (Protonico), that it would be moving some horses out of trainer Bob Baffert's barn. One of the most intriguing of those horses, 'TDN Rising Star' FOLLOWING SEA (Runhappy), will make his first start for the Todd Pletcher barn in this first-level allowance sprint early on Thursday's card. Unveiled at 9-10 Mar. 6 at Santa Anita, the homebred...

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Curlin Colt Fights Back to Become 'Rising Star'

West Point Thoroughbreds, Siena Farm, Bobby Flay and Woodford Racing's regally bred $1.5-million Fasig-Tipton Saratoga '19 co-topper First Captain (Curlin) snatched victory from the jaws of defeat Saturday to go two-for-two and garner the 'TDN Rising Star' distinction. The chestnut got going late to get up over seven panels here Apr. 24, earning a 94 Beyer Speed Figure in the process, and was even-money to continue his promising trajectory. Pressing out in the clear among a compact field through splits of :23.69 and :47.17, First Captain seemed to come under...

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Thursday's Insights: Pricey Quality Road Filly Debuts at Belmont

2nd-BEL, $90K, Msw, 3yo/up, f, 6f, 3:38p.m. Shug McGaughey debuts 3-year-old BIG CITY MOMMA (Quality Road) for Courtlandt Farms. The $700,000 KEESEP graduate is out of stakes placed New York-bred Easy Living (Big Brown). The filly posted a pair of recent four-panel works at Belmont, including the most recent going :48 4/5 Apr. 24. Jose Ortiz gets the call. TJCIS PPs

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Annex Looks to Remain Perfect in American Turf

Unbeaten 'TDN Rising Star' Annex (Constitution) looks to keep his perfect record in tact as the favorite in the GII American Turf S. at Churchill Downs. Rallying from well back to take his debut at Gulfstream Jan. 16, the chestnut captured the Palm Beach S. there Feb. 27 and followed suit with a win in the Cutler Bay S. in Hallandale Mar. 27. The red-hot Irad Ortiz, Jr. climbs aboard for the first time here, which adds even more upside to this talented favorite. Shug McGaughey saddles a strong contender...

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Pricey Curlin Colt Finishes Fast at Belmont
Pricey Curlin Colt Finishes Fast at Belmont

1st-Belmont, $90,000, Msw, 4-24, 3yo/up, 7f, 1:23.56, ft, 3/4 length. FIRST CAPTAIN (c, 3, Curlin--America {GSW & MGISP, $580,532}, by A.P. Indy) re-rallied late to kick his career off with a promising victory in the Belmont opener Saturday. The $1.5-million Fasig-Tipton Saratoga '19 co-topper and first foal out of GSW and MGISP America was let go at 3-1 off a 9-5 morning line here for the typically patient Shug McGaughey. He broke cleanly enough, and moved up to track from the pocket behind favored fellow firster Mahaamel (Into Mischief)--a $700,000...

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Saturday's Insights: $1.5M Curlin Colt Debuts at Belmont
Saturday's Insights: $1.5M Curlin Colt Debuts at Belmont

1st-BEL, $90K, Msw, 3yo, 7f, 1:00p.m. Trainer Shug McGaughey unveils West Point, Siena Farm, Bobby Flay and Woodford Racing's FIRST CAPTAIN (Curlin), a $1.5 million purchase at the Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga Select sale last summer. The colt is the first foal out of GSW & GISP America (A.P. Indy), a homebred for the Iron Chef. The 3-year-old sports a bullet four-furlong work in :48 1/5 at Payson Apr. 10, and most recently, registered a :48 4/5 (28/63) for the same distance at Belmont Apr. 17. Also suiting up for the first...

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This Side Up: A Tour With Many Dates

Well, I guess in the week we lost Mrs. Chandler--that elegant bridge at the center of five generations (and counting) of Kentucky horse lore--nobody will need reminding to take the long view. Certainly not Shug McGaughey, who will perhaps be reminding the disappointed connections of Greatest Honour (Tapit) how things didn't turn out too badly for Coronado's Quest (Forty Niner) after he was likewise derailed from the Classic trail. Maybe Greatest Honour can now become Shug's fifth winner of the GI Travers S., a race with an even longer history...

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Report: Greatest Honour Off Derby Trail

According to a report from Daily Racing Form's Jay Privman, leading GI Kentucky Derby contender Greatest Honour (Tapit) will be forced to miss the "Run for the Roses" and will instead get approximately 60 days off. Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey had the Courtlandt Farms homebred examined by Dr. Larry Bramlage after not being satisfied with how he came out of a somewhat disappointing third as the 4-5 favorite in the GI Curlin Florida Derby Mar. 27. The regally bred bay colt had taken each of his three starts...

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Scarlett Sky Overcomes Slow Pace in Transylvania

Stuart Janney III's Scarlett Sky (Sky Mesa) looked to have it all to do in Friday's GIII Kentucky Utilities Transylvania S. at Keeneland, as he lingered in last of six behind a glacial pace. But, steered out widest into the stretch, he motored down the center of the course beneath Joel Rosario and was along late to post an ultimately cozy victory. Palazzi (Pioneerof the Nile) hit the lead inside the final sixteenth, only to be run over in the final strides, while GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf hero Fire...

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Derby March for Greatest Honour

Greatest Honour (Tapit) rides a three-race win streak heading into the GI Curlin Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, however, the Courtlandt Farm homebred certainly hasn't scared anyone away as 10 other sophomores have also signed on in Saturday's Classic prep. A large part of the draw is that the Florida Derby will offer 170 qualifying points for the May 1 Kentucky Derby on a 100-40-20-10 basis. The 1 1/8-mile test has produced the winners of 60 Triple Crown events. The imposing bay kicked off his career with a trio of...

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