Trainer Shug McGaughey and jockey Kent Desormeaux join Thoroughbred champions Skip Away and Flawlessly as 2004’s class of inductees in the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame. Museum president John von Stade announced the results today after more than 140 members of the racing media participated in the annual election.
The four new members will be formally inducted during open public ceremonies at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 9, at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion in Saratoga Springs, New York.
McGaughey, who was elected over fellow finalists Nick Zito and John Veitch in the Contemporary Trainer category, was eligible for election for the first time. Trainers become eligible for the Contemporary category after having been licensed for 25 years. McGaughey has spent most of his career as trainer for the Phipps Family stable and has trained a total of eight champions for the Phippses and other owners. The Phipps homebreds include unbeaten Personal Ensign and Belmont Stakes winner Easy Goer. Through May 23, 2004, McGaughey has won 1,379 races (23.5%) from 5,854 starts and earned $83,918,770. Through 2003 he had won 237 graded stakes, including eight Breeders’ Cup races.
In the Jockey category, Kent Desormeaux shares with Chris McCarron and Steve Cauthen the distinction of having won Eclipse Awards as both an apprentice and also as an established jockey. Through May 23, 2004, Desormeaux has won 4,419 races (19.9%) from 22,191 mounts and earned $169,217,481. His victories include the Kentucky Derby on Real Quiet and Fusaichi Pegasus and the Preakness on Real Quiet. He was America’s leading rider three consecutive years and his one-year record of 598 wins still stands.
Jockeys are eligible after 15 years of riding. The category this year produced four candidates, with Desormeaux winning in the final election over Eddie Maple, Randy Romero, and Jose Santos.
Skip Away, which raced for Mrs. Carolyn Hine and was trained by her husband, Sonny Hine, was Horse of the Year at five in 1998. He had been champion 3-year-old and champion older male in the two previous years. Skip Away (Skip Trial—Ingot Way, by Diplomat Way) won 18 of 38 races and earned $9,616,360. He defeated Cigar in one of his two Jockey Club Gold Cup triumphs and won the 1997 Breeders’ Cup Classic by six lengths. Skip Away was bred in Florida by Mrs. Anne Marie Barnhart and was purchased by Hine for $22,500 as a 2-year-old.
Skip Away was eligible for the Hall of Fame for the first time, the requisite five calendar years having elapsed since his final race. His trainer, the late Sonny Hine, was elected to the Hall of Fame last year. Skip Away won against Lure and Manila in the Contemporary Male horse category.
Flawlessly, winner in the Contemporary Female category, was champion grass mare in both 1992 and 1993. She was bred and raced by Mr. and Mrs. Louis Wolfson’s Harbor View Farm and was trained through most of her career by Charlie Whittingham. She was sired by Harbor View’s Triple Crown winner Affirmed and foaled from La Confidence, by Nijinsky II. The Kentucky-bred won both the grade I Matriarch and Ramona Handicaps three years in succession. Overall, she won 16 of 28 races and earned $2,572,536. Flawlessly was elected over Mom’s Command and Sky Beauty.
Horses and trainers whose competitive careers ended more than 25 years ago are reviewed by a special Historic Review Committee, which may have additional inductees to announce later in the summer.
As trainer for the Phipps family for nearly 20 years, Shug McGaughey has trained six champions. Earlier, he had conditioned older male champion Vanlandingham for Loblolly Stable, and in 1991 he trained older distaff champion Queena for Emory Hamilton. McGaughey’s champions for the Phippses include Personal Ensign, which he directed through an unbeaten career of 13 races over three years, bringing her back twice from lengthy layoffs ready to win each time. Personal Ensign’s career was climaxed by her narrow victory over Kentucky Derby winner Winning Colors in the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Distaff. This was one of eight Breeders’ Cup victories for McGaughey, whose others include back-to-back wins in the Breeders’ Cup Mile with Claiborne Farm’s Lure and the 2002 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies with (then) unbeaten Storm Flag Flying. Twice he has won two Breeders’ Cups on the same day.
With Hall of Fame member Easy Goer, McGaughey won the juvenile championship of 1988 and the next year added a series of the most prestigious Eastern races, including the Belmont Stakes, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Travers, Whitney, and Woodward. McGaughey has won three Jockey Club Gold Cups and three Travers runnings. In addition to those named above, his champions are Rhythm, Heavenly Prize, and Inside Information. His other major runners include Coronado’s Quest, Dancing Spree, My Flag, Versailles Treaty, Seeking the Gold, Glitter Woman, Educated Risk, Miner’s Mark, Dispute, Awe Inspiring, Polish Navy, Classy Cathy, and Try Something New. Other important events he has won include the Alabama, Kentucky Oaks, Spinster, Frizette, Matron, Go for Wand, Oaklawn Handicap, Acorn, CCA Oaks, Haskell, Wood Memorial, Ashland, Jim Beam, Ruffian, and Beldame.
On Oct. 16, 1993, McGaughey won three grade I races and two grade III races when Miner’s Mark won the Jockey Club Gold Cup; Heavenly Prize the Frizette; Dispute the Beldame; Strolling Along the Realization; and Lure the Kelso Handicap. Through 2003, he had 5,744 starts, 1,363 wins (24%), and $82,731,027 in earnings. He had won 237 graded stakes (21%) and a total of 311 stakes (20%). McGaughey was voted the Eclipse Award for trainer in 1988. He has been New York’s leading trainer in percentage of wins three times and has led standings at Belmont Park and Saratoga.
Career statistics through Sunday, May 23, 2004
Kent Desormeaux won his first race in 1986 and the following year was the leading apprentice in number of wins, winning the Eclipse Award in that category. He soon joined Chris McCarron and Steve Cauthen as winners of both the apprentice Eclipse and overall jockey’s Eclipse Award, adding two more in 1989 and 1992. A native of Maurice, La., Desormeaux was the national leader in number of wins three consecutive years (1987, 1988, and 1989). In 1989, he set the still-standing national record for wins in a year, with 598. He also was the national leader in earnings in 1992. Desormeaux has won 4,395 (20%) races from 22,045 mounts and has earned $167,718,471. He has won 241 graded stakes (18%) and 506 stakes overall (18%).
A George Woolf Memorial Award winner, Desormeaux led jockeys in Maryland before moving to California. He has topped the riders’ lists at each of the four major Southern California meetings and won six races on a single card at Hollywood Park in 1992.
Desormeaux has won the Kentucky Derby twice, on Real Quiet (1998) and Fusaichi Pegasus (2000), and the Preakness on Real Quiet. He has been the regular or frequent rider of Horse of the Year Kotashaan, Golden Missile, Fiji, Excellent Meeting, Formal Gold, Free House, Afternoon Deelites, Possibly Perfect, Soul of the Matter, Desert Stormer, Lakeway, Marquetry, Kostroma, Best Pal, The Wicked North, Private Terms, and Touch of the Blues.
Major races Desormeaux has won include two Breeders’ Cup events (Sprint and Turf), Eddie Read Handicap (2), Santa Anita Handicap, Wood Memorial, San Juan Capistrano (3), Pimlico Special, Santa Anita Derby, Spinster, Oaklawn Handicap (2), Super Derby, Arkansas Derby, Yellow Ribbon (4), Hollywood Futurity, Queen’s Plate, Caesars Palace Turf Championship, Atto Mile, and the Californian. He also has won several million-dollar races in Japan.
Career statistics through Sunday, May 23, 2004
Skip Away winning the 1998 Woodward, courtesy of Eugene Viti.
After a 2-year-old season highlighted by seconds in two grade II races, Skip Away joined the Triple Crown trail in 1996. He won the Blue Grass Stakes and was second in the Preakness and Belmont after an uncharacteristic race in the Kentucky Derby. After the three Triple Crown races, he captured the Ohio Derby and Haskell. Later in the summer and fall, he won the Woodbine Million and then upset older champion Cigar in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, with Preakness winner Louis Quatorze running third. Skip Away was voted the champion 3-year-old.
At four, Skip Away lost early, but then won the Mass Cap and Suburban Handicap and climaxed his campaign with a second Jockey Club Gold Cup triumph and then a six-length defeat of Deputy Commander in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Hollywood Park. He was voted the older male champion.
At five, Skip Away won his first seven races, all but two of them grade I events. He won the Donn at Gulfstream Park in Florida, the Pimlico Special in Maryland, and another Mass Cap (130 pounds). He then went West again to defeat Puerto Madero and Gentlemen in the Hollywood Gold Cup and completed his winning streak in the Iselin under 131 pounds back in New Jersey and the Woodward in New York before two dull races at the end of the campaign. He was voted champion older male again as well as Horse of the Year.
Flawlessly was North America’s distaff grass course champion in both 1992 and 1993 and repeated as a grade I winner on grass again at six in 1994. Charlie Whittingham gave her campaigns that included relatively few races, but which covered many months and were concentrated at the top level of competition. In her first year as champion, she won three of five, and in her second Eclipse season she won four of five.
Flawlessly won both the grade I Matriarch Handicap and grade I Ramona Handicap three times in succession, and she won three other grade I events on grass, for a career total of nine. In all stakes, she had a career record of 15 victories, of which a total of 11 were in graded company. After five seasons of racing, Flawlessly retired with 16 wins, 4 seconds, and 3 thirds in 28 starts and earnings of $2,572,536.
For trainer Dick Dutrow, Harbor View Farm’s homebred Affirmed filly became a stakes winner at two, when she won the grade III Gardenia Stakes at Meadowlands and the grade III Tempted Stakes at Aqueduct. She also was third behind Meadow Star in the grade I Frizette. She was sent West the following year.
In addition to the three Matriarchs and Ramonas, Flawlessly’s grade I triumphs came in two runnings of the Beverly Hills and in the 1993 Beverly D. at Arlington Park. Thus she was a major winner on both coasts and the Midwest. Flawlessly defeated champion Hollywood Wildcat, New Zealand-bred star Let’s Elope, plus Kostroma, Toussaud, Jolypha, Fire the Groom, User Friendly, Urban Sea, and Leariva.
From a National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame press release
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