Racing Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey fine-tuned his arsenal of runners for possible Grade 1 engagements this week with Reload prepping for Friday’s Maker’s 46 Mile, Abaco for the Jenny Wiley and Mr Speaker for the Toyota Blue Grass.
Reload was first up before the break, working a half-mile in company in :48. Working with Reflecting, Reload posted fractions of :12 and :24 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:00.40.
“I thought he worked well,” McGaughey said of the 5-year-old who is
2-for-2 on grass. “I put him on grass last winter and didn’t like the
way he went. He kind of got a new life on Polytrack here last spring and
this winter I decided to try him on the turf again and he was a
different horse. His allowance race was good and he ran big when he won
the Canadian Turf (G3).”
Next up was Mr Speaker, winner of the Dania Beach (G3) and runner-up
in the Palm Beach (G3). Working on his own, Mr Speaker covered a
half-mile in :46.20 and galloped out five furlongs in :59.60.
“He worked a little faster than I wanted,” McGaughey said. “I am
still on the fence about the Blue Grass. I do not want to run him in a
big field, but I have not eliminated it yet.”
Abaco, who was sixth in the Jenny Wiley last year, worked a half-mile in company with Scampering in :47.80, galloping out five furlongs in 1:00.40.
“She is doing very well and she worked good this morning,” McGaughey said.