McGaughey, Desormeaux, Skip Away, Flawlessly Elected to Hall of Fame
by Evan Hammonds
Date Posted: 5/26/2004 10:28:17 AM
Last Updated: 5/28/2004 7:07:42 AM

Skip Away, elected to Racing Hall of Fame.
Photo: File
Trainer Claude "Shug" McGaughey and jockey Kent Desormeaux, along with equine stars Skip Away and Flawlessly were announced Tuesday as inductees for the class of 2004 for the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame. Museum president John Van Stade announced the results during a teleconference after more than 140 members of the racing media voted in the annual election.

Induction ceremonies will take place Monday, Aug. 9, at the Humphrey S. Finney pavilion at Saratoga Springs, N.Y. As always, the inductions will be open to the public.

The finalists for each category were announced earlier this year. McGaughey was elected over finalists Nick Zito and John Veitch in the contemporary trainer category. Trainers become eligible after being licensed for 25 years. Desormeaux won out over Eddie Maple, Randy Romero, and Jose Santos in the contemporary jockey category. Jockeys become eligible after 15 years of service.

Skip Away, champion 3-year-old in 1996, champion older horse in 1997-98 and Horse of the Year in 1998 and the second all-time leading North America earner, was voted contemporary male horse over Lure and Manila. Flawlessly, champion older turf female in 1992 and 1993, won her honors and contemporary female over Mom's Command and Sky Beauty. Equines runners are eligible five years after their last race.

McGaughey has trained eight Eclipse Award winners and earned an Eclipse Award as outstanding trainer in 1988. He conditioned Vanlandingham to an older horse title in 1985 for Loblolly Stable. Emory Hamilton's Queena was named champion older female in 1991. As a trainer for the Phipps family for nearly 20 years, he has trained champions Personal Ensign, Easy Goer, Rhythm, Heavenly Prize, Inside Information, and Storm Flag Flying.

McGaughey, based in New York, has sent out eight Breeders' Cup winners and ranks third all-time by Breeders' Cup trainer earnings. He won the 1998 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) with Easy Goer. McGaughey has sent out the winners of 238 graded stakes and his runners have earned more than $82 million.

Desormeaux is one of three jockeys to win Eclipse Awards as an apprentice and as a journeyman rider. The other two members of that exclusive club are fellow Hall of Fame riders Chris McCarron and Steve Cauthen. Desormeaux was the top apprentice in 1987 and later won Eclipse Awards in 1989 and 1992. In 1989 he won 589 races, a single-season record that still stands.

He has won two Kentucky Derbys aboard Real Quiet in 1998 and Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000, and a Preakness on Real Quiet. He has piloted two Breeders' Cup winners in Kotashaan (Turf, 1993), and Desert Stormer (Spring, 1995). To date, Desormeaux has won 4,395 races, good for a 20% strike rate from 22,045 mounts. His starters have earned more than $167 million.

Skip Away, bred in Florida by Anna Marie Barnhart, was owned by Carolyn Hine and trained by her late husband, Hubert "Sonny" Hine. Hine was inducted into the Hall of Fame last August. A son of Skip Trial, who was also trained by Hine, out of the Diplomat Way mare Ingot Way, Skip Away won 18 of 38 starts and earned $9,616,360. He also ran second 10 times and third six times.

Second in both the Preakness and Belmont, he earned 3-year-old championship honors based on wins in the Ohio Derby (gr. II), Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I), Woodbine Million (gr. I), and Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I). In his final start of the year, the Gold Cup, Skip Away defeated eventual Horse of the Year, Cigar.

He would win the Gold Cup the following year as well, as well as score a six-length victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Hollywood Park on his way to Horse of the Year honors.

At 5, Skip Away won his first eight starts, five of them grade I races, before going down to defeat in the final two starts of his career. The 11-year-old horse stands at stud at Hopewell Farm near Lexington.

Flawlessly was nearly flawless on the turf course. She posted a career mark of 16-4-3 from 28 starts and earned $2,572,536. A Harbor View Farm homebred by Affirmed--La Confidence, by Nijinsky II, Flawlessly was trained early in her career by Dick Dutrow, and later by the late Hall of Fame trainer Charlie Whittingham. She was a foal of 1988.

A two-time Eclipse Award winner, Flawlessly won the Matriarch Stakes (gr. IT) three years running (1991-93), the Ramona Handicap (gr. IT) three consecutive years (1992-95), and the Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IT) twice. In her two efforts in the Beverly D. Handicap (gr. IT) at Arlington, she was beaten both times in a photo. A nose loss to Let's Elope in 1993 resulted in a victory following the disqualification of the New Zealand-bred mare.

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