Features

Shug McGaughey stood at the end of his barn as rain began to fall Friday morning. Turf works were in full gear, the final set was cooling out and assistants Robbie Medina and McGaughey’s son, Reeve, readied horses to paddock school later in the day. 

 McGaughey has enjoyed another productive stand at Saratoga, winning six races from 23 starts, including the Fasig-Tipton Lure with Inspector Lynley. And there’s plenty of more bullets to fire. 

The Hall of Famer walked down his shedrow with The Special’s Sean Clancy. By the time they finished, it was an hour and 27 minutes later and McGaughey had talked about his stars at Saratoga, Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland and at Niall Brennan’s Training Center in Ocala, Fla.. (Originally published in Aug. 18 edition of The Saratoga Special.)

Dancing All Night: Phipps homebred daughter of Parading finished second Friday. “A lot of talent, a lot of problems. She’s good now.”

In The Lee: Daughter of Tapit owns four wins in eight starts, she finished second in the Perfect Sting at Belmont Park in her most recent start. “We’ll try to run her in an allowance race here and take it from there. She wants to be really light, that’s why I haven’t run her more, she eats good, she just stays real light.”

Jaunt: Owned and bred by Claiborne Farm, she’s 1-for-16. “She was second here, she’ll run back at the end of the meet.”

Dance Club: Phipps homebred daughter of Candy Ride and champion Storm Flag Flying finished third in her career debut Aug. 5. “We’ll try to run her back at the end of the meet, going seven-eighths. I think she’ll be better going longer.”

Profiteer: Stuart Janney homebred 4-year-old has won four races. “Won this summer in a dead heat, stakes-placed, he’ll win a stakes somewhere along the line. War Front, out of Hit It Rich, first foal.”

Medina Ridge: McGaughey walks to the next stall and points to a big, gray 2-year-old colt. “This is his full-brother. I like him. He might be OK. He’ll run on the grass Saturday. For me, he’s a little bit better type than (Profiteer) and he’s got a 3-year-old brother who’s a little bit longer, he’s in Ocala.” 

Sargeant Drive: Son of Tapit has hit the board twice in seven starts. “Out of Carriage Trail, but she hasn’t done anything yet. He was put up to second the last time we ran at Belmont.”

Throw Down: Two-year-old half-brother to Criminologist and Rescue Squad, the son of Into Mischief fills the eye. “He worked really well on the grass (Thursday), I’m going to run him in the next couple of weeks. Nice looking colt.” 

Hungry Kitten: By Kitten’s Joy out of Grade 2 stakes winner Hungry Island, 2-year-old filly has yet to start. “I really like her, she tied up here early, so I lost a little bit of time but she’s on the straight and narrow now. Pretty filly probably has some talent on the turf, she’ll run here at the end of the meet or the first part of Belmont. I was going to work her Saturday, but we’ll have to see now.”

Danceland: Allen Stable’s daughter of Tapit won an allowance turf race here Aug. 2. “I’m planning on running her in the Glens Falls. She’s out of a mare who ran long on the turf. I could run her here or take her down there for the Violet (at Monmouth Park), might as well just walk her across the street.”

Inspector Lynley: Hard-trying 5-year-old won the Fasig-Tipton Lure here Aug. 11. “He’s had a really good year, second or third three times, could have won any of them, won the Lure the other day, pointing him for the Bernard Baruch. He’s a pretty nice horse, he likes it up here, he won the Saranac when he was 3, then he won again. I said, ‘Let’s take a shot in there.’ You take him over there, you know he’s going to run well, it’s just a matter if he gets the trip.”

On Leave: Daughter of War Front has won seven races, including five stakes. “She’s going to run either in the Ballston Spa or Kentucky Downs on September 1st, just depends who runs in the Ballston Spa. She’s won just under a million dollars, she’s been good.”

Code Of Honor: Will Farish homebred 2-year-old scratches his ear with his hind foot. “Pretty athletic, huh? He’s in tomorrow, he acts like he’s fast.”

Sentry: Son of Smart Strike won a starter allowance here going 9 furlongs on the turf. “Just a nice, hard-knocking horse, he’s never really gotten to do what he wants to do, because the races won’t go, to run farther. I might take him down to Kentucky Downs. (Manny) Franco rode him and said he’s just getting going.”

Breaking The Rules: Another son of War Front, the 3-year-old is 2-for-5. “Won his first two starts, ran him in the Easy Goer, finished sixth, just didn’t have a clean trip, he was a little bit anxious that day for some reason. I ran him back and he was second, then ran him back here and he was fourth. Broke good, then kind of sucked out of there on the dirt. I’m going to put him on the turf, it’s probably where he wants to be. I’m going to try to breeze him on the turf Monday. I was trying to make a dirt horse out of him, but knew all along that (turf) is what he wants to do.”

Performer: Two-year-old half-brother to Breaking The Rules stood at attention at the end of the barn. “By Speightstown, he breezed this morning. If everything goes right, he’ll run back at Belmont. Big, nice horse, got a nice way of going, acts the way he’s supposed to act, not crazy but coltish. He’s a big, solid son of a gun.”

Charreada. Emory Hamilton’s homebred daughter of Kitten’s Joy has finished fourth, third and then fourth here Aug. 15. McGaughey pointed to the outside stall. “The big chestnut in the pen. She was fourth the other day, I think she’s got a chance at being a really nice filly, we’ll get her back to Belmont. She was the first time on the grass, I was afraid these tight turns would get her. Somebody asked me if I liked her, I said, ‘I do like her, but I like her a lot more going a mile-and-a-sixteenth at Belmont than a mile-and-a-sixteenth here.’ ” 

Browse. Phipps-bred 5-year-old has won four races, placed in a stakes and earned $257,189. The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro and graded stakes winner Daydreaming won here Aug. 12. As a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Imagining and several other quality runners, she has a future in the breeding shed. “I might take her to Kentucky Downs for a turf sprint or take her to Presque Isle. I had her on the grass, but all her races had been sort of the same, I had been wanting to run her on the dirt. So, when they took it off the other day, it didn’t hurt my feelings, I didn’t know what was going to happen but she ran good. She’s stakes-placed, she’s got a world of pedigree, she’ll be something nice for them to have as a broodmare.”

Fabulous Fun. Two-year-old son of Distorted Humor and Boca Grande finished sixth in his debut here Aug. 4. “I like him but I was very disappointed in his race. For some reason, he got up here, he looked good and acted good but he didn’t give me the look that he gave me at Belmont, that worried me a little bit. I looked at him this morning, going to the track, and he looks like he’s grown quite a bit, maybe that’s why. I thought he looked a little more like what I wanted him to look like, just for my eyesight. He trained so well around here, Joel (Rosario) said he was just cruising along. We did a myectomy on him, hoping it helps.”

Pink Sands: Owned by Gainesway Farm and Andrew Rosen, 3-year-old daughter of Tapit broke her maiden with a come-from-behind move Thursday. “She’s on her way back to Fair Hill this morning, just to get a little time in the paddock. She had trained well but I didn’t know what to expect, I thought she would run well. When she was back where she was, I don’t know I expected it, but at least we know what she wants to do.”

My Impression. Six-time winner won the One Dreamer at Kentucky Downs in september, but hasn’t won since. “She’s on her way up here from Fair Hill, I don’t know where I’ll run her, I’ll just piddle around with her.”

Home It Tiz: Talented 3-year-old son of Tiznow finished second in his only start, he’s breezed twice at Fair Hill. “He ran one time and finished second to Michael Dickinson’s horse (Archaggelos) that’s running in stakes. He got a fracture in his back pastern but he’s back going now.”

Special Event: Another Hamilton homebred, the daughter of Arch and La Reina has hit the board in two graded stakes at Monmouth this summer. “She’s at Fair Hill, she was second in the Eatontown and third in the Matchmaker. I think she’s pretty nice, she’ll probably run in the Violet.”

Mango M: Tale Of The Cat gelding has graduated from Fasig-Tipton twice, as a $160,000 yearling at the New York-bred sale in 2016 and as a $250,000 juvenile at Timonium last year, he’s owned by August Dawn Farm and won at Belmont last month. “He was second the first time I ran him on the grass, then I stretched him out and he won pretty easy. I’ve had a hard time getting a race to go for him here, but he’ll be tough when he runs.”

War Cabinet: Three-year-old daughter of War Front won here opening weekend. “She’s the kind of filly that next year, she’ll be able utilize some of those longer filly and mare stakes as we go along. It’ll be hard to find the right spots for her now.”

Doctor Mounty: Hard-trying son of Street Sense has won five races for McGaughey’s friends, Larry Pratt and Dave Alden. “He’s been a consistent kind of horse, he was second in the Oceanport at Monmouth, probably going to run him in the Red Bank at Monmouth or in the Old Friends at Kentucky Downs. We bought him as a 2-year-old. I need to find those guys another one.”

Bar Harbor: Stuart Janney homebred 2-year-old son of Orb and Quiet Harbor is readying in Ocala. “I’m hoping to breeze him in Ocala today, I think a lot of him. If he breezes well and comes out of it well, then I’ll probably breeze him one more time and bring him up here. He’ll be about a month away. I had him up here once, sent him back, this is his first breeze, he was close to running.”

Personal Time. Three-year-old half-brother to Kentucky Derby winner Orb is on the comeback trail. “He’s still a maiden, he had some really good races in Florida. He had a few little stress things so we had to back off him. I think he’s as nice as any of these 3-year-olds. He’ll probably breeze today or tomorrow, I really like that horse. Of all the horses who aren’t here that I’m excited to get back going it is Personal Time.”

Fly So High: Daughter of Malibu Moon won the Grade 2 Davona Dale at Gulfstream Park in March, but suffered a suspensory injury in the process. “She’s back jogging on the Aquaciser, hopefully she’ll get the green light to go back to the track. She had a little bit of a suspensory tear but it’s all filled in and ready to go now. You never know, but going two turns she’s probably going to be as good as any 3-year-old filly I’ve seen. That’s not taking anything away from (Monomoy Girl) because she’s really good, but I do think she’s that caliber, especially going two turns. She’s never gone two turns. She was an easy winner of the Davona Dale going a mile, but she hurt herself, luckily it was something we could fix, she’ll be back in the middle of the fall. She’s got a lot of pedigree. We’ve got our fingers crossed for her. My biggest goal for her would be to run her sparingly and have her ready for these races up here next summer.”

 Lead Pony. “He needs to be shod. We got him from (Phil) Serpe, he won some races. He’s by Smart Strike? He’s a good pony. I’m glad to have him.”