Saratoga Recap: Shug's Sisters Both Winners

By Sean Clancy
From The Saratoga Special, reprinted with permission

On a day without a stakes, Shug McGaughey did his best at pumping up the program sending out two sisters to resounding scores. One year apart and a world of difference in looks but winners just the same.

Finder's Fee won the third race on the card, a five horse allowance race. The Grade I winner broke a 10-race losing streak running down Dream For A Moment and Easy Action. McGaughey was relieved more than anything to get the Ogden Phipps 4-year-old filly back to the winner's circle.

"I think I've probably been piddling with her too much. After she ran the other day and didn't show anything, I got into her a little bit and breezed her on the grass in company twice. Just to cross her thinking up a little bit," McGaughey said. "When she broke good like that today, I thought, 'oh she's going to run good today.' "

By Storm Cat out of Fantastic Find, Finder's Fee under Pat Day won by 1 1/4 lengths.

Six races later, McGaughey was back at it with Finder's Fee's little sister Indy Pick who easily won an allowance race. Day was aboard the daughter of A.P. Indy. McGaughey tried to compare the two sisters.

"Finder's Fee is a bunched up kind of thing who wants to be a come from behind sprinter. I've tried her long a couple of times and she'd run good until the eighth pole and finish third or something," McGaughey said. "Indy Pick's been begging to get stretched out. Last year as a 2-year-old I was getting ready to stretch her out and something happened, nothing big. Then this year whatever went through the barn went through her too. She ran terrible against Victory Ride but she was running against a pretty good horse. The other day she looked like she was going to win and got to drifting out. Today, I put Pat on her and said I don't think she wants a lot of whip, she's probably got a light mouth, just take a long hold of her and see what she wants to do."

She wanted to run off the screen. Indy Pick won by 11 1/4 lengths.

McGaughey also trained their mother, Fantastic Find, who won six races including the Grade I Hempstead Handicap.

"They both have a lot of their mother. She could really run. She'd run short or long," McGaughey said. "I brought her up here for the Test, I don't think she had ever been beat. I didn't have time to school her and she was bad in the paddock, finished second to Safely Kept. Of course we didn't know who Safely Kept was at the time. She was a combination of both of them. Very talented filly, just kind of tough to deal with, a Mr. Prospector that was a little flighty."

And one hell of a mother.

Other Action.

In the seventh race, Getadderit lagged behind her five rivals in the 1 1/16 turf race. Jerry Bailey was in front aboard Primere Rose while John Velazquez was scrubbing away on Getadderit. After a quarter in 24.43 and a half in 49.95, Getadderit looked in deep. The daughter of Cozzene had other ideas.

"It surprised me that I caught them. My horse has no speed. I chased her into the first turn and they're going in 49. That's the way she wants to run and you can't force her too much," Velazquez said. "The last time I chased her up to be fourth after a half mile and then she runs last. I thought today I'd encourage her little by little and when she's ready, she's ready. They were crawling and I'm really riding to just stay close. I said mama don't make me ride you all the way, just give me a little run. I hit her and she reacted right away."

Marylander Tony Dutrow stormed Saratoga once again winning with first time starter Coach Knight. The son of Editor's Note flew down the lane and won with ease over a strong field of 2-year-olds. The race was significantly easier after the post parade when Thunderello lost Jorge Chavez and was scratched after running loose. $4.2 million Saratoga yearling purchase, Distinction faltered badly after setting the early pace.

Contact Sean Clancy via e-mail at or telephone at 518-581-1947.