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Trust in Shug McGaughey

Trainer Shug McGaughey is one of the most respected and renowned trainers in racing today. Unlike many top trainers, he does not wield several barn-fulls of horses across the country. He does not garner attention with flashy results produced by young, precocious juveniles, nor does he overwhelm with an armada of horses. He is patient and willing to let his horses tell him when they are ready.
One of the first horses to put this trainer on the big stage was a big, handsome, regally bred chestnut by the name of Easy Goer. The son of Alydar, was an anomaly for his trainer, showing great talent even during his juvenile year. While he won two stakes in 1988, he made an even bigger name for himself at three, when he decimated all comers while contesting the road to the Kentucky Derby. There he met a rival of equal ability, in Sunday Silence. As they say, from there, the rest is history, as the two embarked upon one of the biggest rivalries since Affirmed and Alydar.
Fast forward about 25 some odd years later, and Shug is back with another regally bred colt by the name of Orb. We all remember him, don’t we? Not as precocious as Shug’s other Triple Crown contestant, years ago, but nonetheless, after improving greatly from age two to three, he entered the Kentucky Derby unbeaten as a three year old, and gave his trainer that elusive and coveted win, avenging Easy Goer’s loss.
This year Shug is back with not just one, but two very talented colts. Honor Code, one of the last foals sired by sire of sires, A.P. Indy and Top Billing, sired by the mighty Curlin. Both showed talent during their two year old season, with Honor Code being the more precocious and accomplished. With these two talented colts, Shug has the ability not just to win the Kentucky Derby, but the Triple Crown. However, with Honor Code missing training due to bruising his heels, therefore, causing his prep races to be rescheduled, people have begun to question Shug and his talented charge.
I’ve seen people saying Honor Code will not be able to make the Derby, that if he does he won’t be ready, that Shug is wasting time and that he should just find a race and stick to it. I say, you all need to take a chill pill and stop back-seat training. Like I said above, Shug doesn’t not make a horse conform to his schedule, he lets them tell him when they are ready, and he is doing just that with Honor Code.
Honor Code came into this year off a surgery. That alone would put him slightly behind in his training. Then, due to the deeper track at Payson's training track, he bruised the back of his heels. Neither the surgery nor the injury were major, and both took minimal time for the colt to recover. Also, take note, that Honor Code had a very competitive Juvenile year, competing in two stakes running from the distances 7-9 furlongs, while facing the best horses in the division. Despite his time off, he still has a very good foundation from that year.
The minor issue with his heels did cause him to miss his first scheduled start, the Fountain of Youth, but also opened up a golden opportunity for his stalemate, Top Billing, to make his debut against stakes horses. Yes, his connections were pointing to the Gotham Stakes, and then re-routed again to their most recent target, the Rebel at Oaklawn. However, this does not mean that Shug is second guessing.
The Rebel gives Shug more time to train and prepare Honor Code for his seasonal bow, while also giving him several other options for a final prep. Shug also has seen the history that Aqueduct has had in the Triple Crown over the last several years, vs. that of Oaklawn. Oaklawn draws better horses and prepares them better, than the track and competition at Aqueduct.
It is a win-win for him to point Honor Code to the Rebel. He gets to keep his two best horses separated, while allowing both to compete and prepare at the two tracks that have the best track record for parlaying success to the Triple Crown. Shug is a quiet genius. He’s shown it over and over.
I am not saying Honor Code will be ready, but you can better believe that Shug will not do anything without his horse signaling his readiness. I say trust in Shug. Trust in him to do what is right by his charge. 


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Older Comments about Trust in Shug McGaughey...

McGaughey is a good one, BUT having the stock he has makes it a lot easier.
Never debated that Paul.That is why he is in the Hall Of Fame. But mainly because he called the shots on all of the horses,not some rich Wannabees who enjoy seeing their names in print. Shug is not only that great of a trainer,he is a classy person.
pure class trainer,,,,one of the best
Thanks for claryfying, be careful with the law. They can be difficult to del with(LOL) again thx and have a nice day.
Sorry, our posts "crossed"...
Tom, Are you referring to dani? She posts as dani.pugh and DeadHeat, just as Zipse posts as ZATT and BrianZipse. :)
Well according to the law I have signed my name about 6 different ways, thank my parents for giving me one name and calling me another ;) I am DeadHeat, it seems HRN likes to switch to my FB user name after i've been off a while which is dani.pugh. So, on HRN, i have the blogger name and the FB name.
well said tmallios
first of all,and i am not being disrespectful.How many aliases do you go by. I have no clue who i am chatting with. You remind me of someone else. So why don't we do this before i am accused of other things by others. Let us agree to disagree and that we both have our points of view.Doubt i will sway you over to the dark side of thinking.I know definately you will not sway me to your side.Nothing wrong with disagreeing points of view.Adds a little spice.Better than some that agree with everything in an attempt to score goodie points. Keep posting please,i am suer this will not be the last time our points do not agree.Have a great one.May the horse be with you.
I never said it was a beauty contest. When i say looked great I mean people said he looked physically fit. Also, how do people judge how a horse is doing. How they maintain weight, how their coat looks, how their attitude is leading up to an event. It may not be a beauty contest, but the outer attributes of these horses tells us an awful lot about how they are doing. Dull coat, listless attitude could indicate a tired horse. Inability to maintain weight, may indicate stress or illness. Shiny coat, good muscle definition, energetic and playful, with good weight equals happy healthy horse who like what they are doing. I look at how a horse looks and listen to reports because it is a tell tale sign of how they are doing. I've trained horses on my own, and i may plan goals that I would like to aim for, but I know full well from the days that I rode and trained that you cannot force a horse by your schedule. If you do, they you'll probably end up with a very unhappy and sour horse down the line, that doesn't want to do what you ask anymore. You can plan all you want, but you listen to the horse to see if they are ready for what you have planned. If they aren't you change them to fit the horse. Not you. And your comment about them rushing him after the Belmont to the Travers with no prep. Point Given was given two months with no prep when he went full tilt in the grade one Haskell, as did Curlin. Both horses got even better after that. The same can be said for Summer Bird, who did the same thing. And what about Birdstone, who went from Belmont to Travers with no prep? Apparently the long layoff after the Belmont to a grade one can work quite well, especially when a horse already has a strong foundation.
Got close to a foot.Thank fully there is no snow or cancellations in Fla. and the left coast
how much snow u get tom? were getting 4 more inches tonight already got 6 out there now lol
good morning tom happy valentines day taking carolyn to Jeff Ruby< steakhouse(precinct) tonight after the El camino drby
Dead Heat,have you ever walked into a trainers office and see they have a chart with all works planned and mapped out. You keep living in your dreamworld.Funny i make a comment and it is bragging and argumentative.Then you and others make them and they are conversation. You say Orb looked great in his maiden.Do you know how many people said he looked awesome in the JCGC.How did that work out for him.Horseracing is not an external beauty contest as you think it is.Maybe you are a swooning fan,i could care less about that. I am made out to be insensitive about horses by maany.Fathest from the truth,i care about their well being. I am not a hypocrite who wants them to run and run and run.When they eventually get hurt,all the nice posts come out.You know the ones,we miss you enjoy your time off.To answer you that he did not rush him back after the Belmnt.How could he,the horse was done.Are you serious,Shug running in the Travers without a prep.They rushed him.Another clueless stement you make,not all go by plan.Are you serious or do you like being argumentative.What do you think occurs.The owner,trainer and horse have their morning cofee and decide on the days and weeks agenda. I am sure the horse tells Shug.Feeling a little bloated today,lets sit this one out.
RAFIROX- So your agenda is not geared for deriving attention? Pot calling kettle. And pal,I'm not on here all the time,that's 4 sure. lol
hnece the connotation my mother so adroitly noted " conditonal Soutnerner" for all the phonies who wanted to be, but came from Timbuktu
TV, I'm not a Southerner and have never claimed to be one! Stop picking @ such stupid arguments, like how I type/talk. You're pathetic. I'm not a "phoney" southerner, because I'm NOT one nor have I ever claimed to be! Typical TD. Whenever he gets called out. He changes the subject.
I'M NOT A SOUTHERNER!!!! My gosh, you are so "stupid". You're not conservable .... You have NO life. NO life. You only live once, YOLO :D. C'mon man.
you think you corneered the makget on being a phoney Southerner? I was born in the South and conterfeit clowns are easy to locate
Hmm, you were quoting me ... I thought you did not read my posts ? Hmm, you're so lame. Tryin' to act all big-time and all, to get attention. But, nah, you do read my posts. You're on here 24/7, too, man. Get a life. Do you got a wife? Kids? Come on, there is stuff more important in life than HRN, hate to break it to you. You pathetic loser. Too bad you argue all the time just for the sake of arguing. You're actually not that bad a dude. Just confrontational as hell.

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