Breeders' Cup Possible for McGaughey's Ky. Cup Winners
Updated: Thursday, September 19, 2002 8:14 PM
Posted: Monday, September 16, 2002 2:59 PM
Photo: Associated Press/Al Behrman
Pure Prize, winning the Kentucky Cup Classic.
(Edited release from Turfway Park)
Trainer Shug McGaughey watched Saturday's Kentucky Cup "day of champions" on TVG from his Belmont Park office in New York. But his absence from Turfway Park did nothing to diminish his enthusiasm on the day after his charges, Pure Prize and Trip, accounted for the grade II, $400,000 Kentucky Cup Classic and the grade III, $200,000 Turfway Breeders' Cup Stakes.
"We are delighted to win a race of that caliber with Pure Prize," said McGaughey this morning. "We knew he had potential, but until the last three or four races, he hadn't given us his all. Since he's by Storm Cat out of Heavenly Prize, a grade II race like this should enhance his stud value. The Breeders' Cup Classic isn't a certainty for him at this point, but it's sure a possibility."
There was a measure of nostalgia attached to the win for McGaughey, with Mike Smith riding a son of the champion filly Heavenly Prize. "During the day, I was thinking about the race and how it might unfold, and I envisioned how Mike rode Heavenly Prize when she won the Alabama Stakes at Saratoga. Heavenly Prize was a little farther back than Pure Prize was, but the races were pretty similar. Mike and I have had a lot of luck over the years and we are good, close friends. He's ridden a lot of horses from this family."
Pure Prize came out of the race in perfectly good order, and so did Trip, who extended her Turfway Park record to four-for-four with her win in the Turfway Breeders' Cup.
"She's really gotten good right now," said McGaughey. "Her last two breezes were as impressive as any my horses have ever turned in. The Breeders' Cup Distaff wasn't in our thinking going in to the race, but after what she did yesterday, it's not out of the realm of possibility. She's a bit peculiar about what track she runs on, but she won at Arlington Park earlier in her career, so that might be another reason to think about it. She's about $112,000 short of the million-dollar earnings mark, and Seth Hancock and I would like to get her over that. Trip reminds me a bit of a filly I had, Educated Risk. She was hacking away and hacking away for a while and then, late in her four-year-old year, she got on a roll, which made me think back then that I might have made a mistake by not running her in the Breeders' Cup Distaff when I could have. We'll see. Seth and I will have to discuss it."
Pure Prize and Trip were scheduled to leave Turfway Park and return to New York mid- afternoon on Sunday.
Meanwhile, it appears the October 26, $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic will be the next start for Kentucky Cup Classic runner-up, Dollar Bill. "We were very happy with his performance," said Dollar Bill's trainer, Dallas Stewart. "He came out of it great, and he tried real hard. We knew that Turfway plays to speed, but he dug in and almost got there. It was fun. As far as I'm concerned, it's on to the Breeders' Cup."
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