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Abaco on a roll for McGaughey

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Photo: NYRA

Earlier this week, trainer Shug McGaughey planned to enter Phipps Stable’s 4-year-old Kentucky homebred filly Abaco in Sunday’s $100,000 South Beach Stakes at 7 ½ on turf for her stakes debut, but found a more attractive option in the sixth race that afternoon, a one-mile optional/allowance test on turf where she will likely rule as the favorite to win her fourth straight race with jockey John Velazquez in the saddle.

A daughter of Giant’s Causeway out of multiple Graded stakes winner Cat Cay, Abaco didn’t break her maiden until her ninth career start, although she had run very well on a number of occasions before breaking through to the winners’ circle at Saratoga in July, followed by allowance scores at Belmont Park in September and October.

“She might have won a race or two before she broke her maiden, but had trouble in a couple of her races,” said McGaughey earlier in the week. “She needed to grow up some and mature” said the trainer when suggesting the South Beach was not the ideal spot to move toward her next major objective, the $150,000 Suwannee River Handicap (G3) going 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 9.

Abaco will likely be a solid favorite in the $60,500 optional test with some in the field of 10 fillies and mares entered for an $80,000 claiming tag, including Christopher Dunn and Pete Kleinhans’ 6-year-old Romin Robin. Jockey Joel Rosario will ride Romin Robin for trainer Rich Dutrow.

A Florida-bred daughter of Pure Precision, Romin Robin has earned nearly $290,000 and may move forward after finishing third behind Abaco in the Oct. 25 allowance race at Belmont while making only her second start since mid-April. Dutrow claimed Romin Robin for $80,000 here in March when she finished a troubled fourth in a race with similar conditions as Sunday.

 

 

What the Nation is saying about Abaco on a roll for McGaughey...

The Phipps family have been having a good year with Point of Entry, Abaco and others including the Jannery horses. I am glad when one of the last old time racing dynasties is still doing well
Abaco wins again at the Gulf on Sunday.

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