In celebration of Shug McGaughey winning the Kentucky Derby with Orb, we went back to the 2004 archives and found Shug’s 32 flavors, when we asked Shug to talk about one of his horses every day in The Saratoga Special. It was in celebration of his election to the Hall of Fame. Seems like a good time to read a few. Here’s the first.
Inside Information won the Ashland and Acorn in 1994 and the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, Shuvee, Spinster and Ruffian in 1995. She was named champion Older Filly or Mare in 1995.
“She was 14 out of 17. She broke her maiden the same day as Heavenly Prize. They split the race at Belmont right after we came back from (Saratoga). She had some bad feet and I didn’t run her back until Aqueduct and she finished third.
“Then we kinda piddled around and she won the Ashland, the Acorn way off. I ran her in the Mother Goose, against Lakeway, they went down the backside in 8 and change and she finished third. The Phippses weren’t there and I remember walking back with Bill Harrigan and Buzzy (Tenney). They were saying, ‘Oh, you know, that was the first time she was ever tested.’ I said, ‘No, something happened to this filly today. I don’t know what it is, but something happened.’
“She ended up doing something to herself behind, neurologically. I got a guy from Ohio State to come in to look at her. He suggested we put her on anti-inflamatories, a DMSO jug, for 30 days. Then we brought her back for her 4-year-old year, the only time she got beat was when she stumbled leaving the gate in the Ballerina to Missy’s Mirage.
“Then she came back and won the Ruffian, the Spinster and won the Breeders’ Cup.
“I was a little surprised (about the Breeders’ Cup) because she had a hard time winning the Spinster but she had a real good breeze a week before. I always thought Heavenly Prize was better but she caught a racetrack she loved. She ran a faster time than Cigar that day. At that time, it was the fastest Distaff ever run. She loved the mud and Heavenly Prize didn’t.
“I’ll tell you the truth about her, I never knew she could run as much as she could run. When you say she was 14 out of 17 . . . “