Edited from Gulfstream Park track notesMcGaughey Making Plans For Storm Flag Flying, Saarland
Trainer Shug McGaughey takes things a lot easier these days, ever since undergoing triple bypass surgery on June 13 to repair blockages around his heart, but he still is excited about the prospects of two of his runners at Gulfstream Park. They are Storm Flag Flying, who was crowned 2-year-old filly champion of 2002, and his grade II winner Saarland, who is on the comeback trail.
"I gave her a rest after the Breeders' Cup," McGaughey said of Storm Flag Flying." She's at Payson Park and I breezed her for the first time about a week ago. I'll be bringing her to Gulfstream, probably some time next week.
"I intend to bring her back slowly and there are several stakes in March that I could run her in. The most likely is the Forward Gal ($100,000 grade III race for 3-year-old fillies on March 14) because it's at seven furlongs. They run the Bonnie Miss ($200,000 grade II stakes at 1 1/8 miles) the same day but she probably won't be ready for it."
Saarland, who won the Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct over a year ago, was sidelined after finishing 10th as the co-second choice in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on May 4 last year. The next day, x-rays showed a chip in his left front ankle which subsequently was surgically removed. Saarland didn't make it back to the races until Nov. 15 when he won an allowance race at Aqueduct.
After that win, McGaughey noticed he grabbed a quarter in the race and has been training him with a bar shoe.
"He had been training well at Gulfstream," McGaughey said. "My main objective with him this winter was the Donn Handicap ($500,000 grade I stakes at 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 22). But, he grabbed a quarter again and it'll cost him about three weeks in training time. I'll have to point him now towards the Gulfstream Park Handicap ($300,000 Grade 1 stakes at 1 1/4 miles on March 29.)"McPeek has stakes horses stacked up
Trainer Kenny McPeek plans to start a number of stakes winners in the coming weeks at Gulfstream. Powerful Touch
(beaten a head when second in the recent grade III Holy Bull Stakes) is pointed toward the Feb. 15 Fountain of Youth (grade I $200,000 stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles) and on Feb. 21, McPeek will run the stakes-placed 3-year-old colt Collateral Damage
in the $75,000 Palm Beach Stakes (gr. III) at 1 1/8 miles on the turf.
McPeek also has his two multiple stakes winners in 2002, Take Charge Lady
, back under the shedrow after a brief rest at the farm in Ocala. "They're both under tack but won't be ready until later in the meeting," he said.
From The Workout Desk...Gulfstream Park
: Trainer Graham Motion worked his stakes-winning filly New Economy
on the turf course on Wednesday. She was clocked in 1:00 4/5 handily for five furlongs with the dogs up and, according to Motion, will make her next start in the $100,000 The Very One Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 3/8 miles on the turf on Feb. 8...Queue
, the 6-year-old stakes-winning mare trained by Vinnie Blengs, worked seven furlongs in 1:33 2/5 breezing on the turf course in preparation for The Very One Handicap.Calder Race Course
: Trainer Ralph Ziadie had his stakes-winning colt Trust N Luck
work a mile in 1:48 3/5 breezing. The winner of the What A Pleasure Stakes at Calder in his last start, Trust N Luck is being pointed towards the $200,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-olds at 1