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McGaughey Takes Shot With Hymn Book

Stuart S. Janney, III's Hymn Book, who earned his first black-type victory when he took the off-the-turf running of the Three Coins Up overnight stakes on May 19, is expected to take another step up the class ladder in the Suburban on July 2.

"It might be an ambitious place, but we'll see," said Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey of the 1 1/8-mile event for 3-year-olds and up. "He's a gelding, so it won't hurt anything."

In the Three Coins Up, the 5-year-old son of Arch stalked a quick pace, took the lead with a sixteenth of a mile to travel, and defeated I Want Revenge by 1 ¼ lengths. It was the second start of 2011 for Hymn Book, who was second in a Keeneland turf allowance on April 15.

"He's doing well and his last race was good," said McGaughey. "The numbers were supposedly really good on him. Everything came together when we gelded him [as a 3-year-old], and he's pretty consistent. Obviously, I ran him for maiden $30,000, so he has exceeded our expectations since that day."

Hymn Book raced mostly on turf early in his career, and McGaughey said the gelding, who is 5-2-1 overall from nine starts, could return to that surface if he regresses in the Suburban.

"I don't know whether he'll fit going long on the dirt or if we'll need to go back to the grass," said McGaughey, "but right now he's a fun horse to have."



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