Shug hopes future is now for Sunday stakes starter in N.J.

Shug hopes future is now for Sunday stakes starter in N.J.
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Even after 11 career starts, six of them wins or runner-up finishes, Shug McGaughey believes the best is yet to come for the 4-year-old filly Vigilantes Way.

Her last race underscored that belief for the Hall of Fame trainer.

The regally bred Vigilantes Way was able to close into slow early fractions before just missing by a half-length in the Gallorette (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on the grass on Pimilco’s May 15 Preakness card. The horse that held on to beat her? Mean Mary, a five-time graded stakes winner and millionaire who is 7-for-11 lifetime, including a win in the New York Stakes (G2) in her next start.

Now Vigilantes Way, a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro-Salute by Unbridled, will look to build off that effort in Sunday’s Eatontown Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park. The $150,000 feature, which drew a full field of 12 (plus four alternates), is also scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

“We didn’t get the position out of the gate that we wanted to in (her last race),” said McGaughey. “She had a little trouble early and we were further back than we wanted to be. But I was pleased with the way she closed. She got beat a half-length by a very good filly.

“That gives us some more hope that the future is bright for her.”

After a solid 3-year-old campaign in which the Phipps Stable homebred won 4-of-7 starts, Vigilantes Way is 0-for-3 this year. But two of her losses have come in Grade 3 events.

“I think she has come back this year even better than I expected her to,” said McGaughey. “She has been a bit of a surprise. She was small as a yearling and she would not have been one that you picked out in the field for her pedigree. But everything she has done so far has been right.

“I think she still has a pretty good future in front of her.”

McGaughey said that adding a graded stakes win to her credentials would be significant for Vigilantes Way but that it’s not something he is obsessed with.

“With her pedigree, it is something we’re looking to get,” he said. “Basically, I’m just looking to win a race with her, whether it’s graded or not. I thought this race was a good spot on the calendar. It gave her plenty of time from Pimlico to here. We’ll see what happens.”

Paco Lopez has the mount.

2021 Eatontown (G3)

*Rating is based on HRN fan votes, which rank the Top Active Horses in training.
RankSilksHorse / SireRatingTrainer / JockeyLast StartStatus
 Belle Laura
Mucho Macho Man
J. Avila
H. Berrios
5th, 2021 Powder Break (LS)
Summer Front
C. Clement
H. Diaz
4th, Bel AlwOC (5/23/2021-R8)
 Morning Molly
Morning Line
T. Proctor
K. Coa
2nd, 2021 Powder Break (LS)
 Counterparty Risk
C. Brown
N. Juarez
4th, 2021 Plenty of Grace (LS) 
M. Stidham
M. Sanchez
6th, 2021 Jenny Wiley (G1) 
 Nay Lady Nay
No Nay Never
C. Brown
D. Davis
4th, 2021 Beaugay (G3) 
Into Mischief
D. Gargan
G. Corrales
3rd, Kee Allow (4/22/2021-R6)
Into Mischief
T. Morley
A. Cruz
1st, 2021 Dahlia Stakes (LS)
 Sweet Bye and Bye
Sky Mesa
S. Joseph,
R. Silvera
1st, 2021 Sand Springs (LS) 
 Crystal Cliffs
Canford Cliffs
H. Motion
V. Carrasco
2nd, 2021 Dahlia Stakes (LS)
Scat Daddy
J. Abreu
J. Ferrer
3rd, 2021 Plenty of Grace (LS) 
 Vigilantes Way
Medaglia d'Oro
C. McGaughey III
P. Lopez
2nd, 2021 Gallorette (G3) 
 Tasting The Stars
J. Kimmel
L. Reyes
1st, 2020 Brookmeade (RS)
 Crown And Sugar
Crown of Thorns
D. Rodriguez
A. Jimenez
7th, 2021 Distaff Turf (RS)
 Positive Power
J. McAllen
N. Juarez
2nd, Mth Allow (5/29/2021-R6)
 Inconvenient Facts
More Than Ready
D. Kendall
C. Hernandez
6th, GP MSW (2/14/2018-R6)

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