Performer Returns With Sharp Win; McGaughey Says Cigar Mile Could Be Next

Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey said he was delighted to see a triumphant return to racing action for Phipps Stable and Claiborne Farm’s Performer, who emerged off an 11-month layoff to an effortless allowance victory going one mile over the Belmont Park main track.

The 4-year-old son of Speightstown, who was a last out winner of the Grade 3 Discovery on Nov. 30, 2019, saved ground along the rail and was nudged by jockey Joel Rosario around the three-eighths pole and strolled home to an in-hand 1 3/4-length triumph. He earned a 98 Beyer Speed Figure in victory.

“I know it was a light field, but I was pleased with the way he went over there and did it,” McGaughey said. “He was very professional with everything he did. I didn’t know what the speed was going to do. I thought the horse to the inside of us [three-time winner Empty Tomb] was going to show more speed. Joel was just patient; he knew what he had and just took it from there.”

McGaughey said he is giving strong consideration to the Grade 1, $250,000 Cigar Mile on December 5 at Aqueduct.

“It would be a big option,” said McGaughey, who won the 1996 Cigar Mile with Gold Fever.

There is a chance that McGaughey could saddle two top-level contenders for the final Grade 1 event of the year on the NYRA racing calendar as W.S. Farish’s Code of Honor also is possible for the race. McGaughey said Code of Honor would be more likely for the nine-furlong two-turn G1, $500,000 Clark on Nov. 27 at Churchill Downs.

“Either the Clark [for Code of Honor], or I would run the two in the Cigar Mile,” McGaughey said. “I’d be more inclined to run Code of Honor around two turns. He ran well over that track.”

A two-time G1 winner when taking last year’s Travers at Saratoga and Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont, Code of Honor was elevated to second in last year’s G1 Kentucky Derby following the disqualification of Maximum Security, who won last year’s Cigar Mile.

A direct descendant of undefeated Hall of Famer Personal Ensign and four-time G1-winning millionaire My Flag, who also were trained by McGaughey, Performer is the third progeny out of graded stakes-placed Protesting who also produced turf stakes winner Breaking the Rules. His grandam On Parade was a full-sister to 2002 Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Storm Flag Flying.

“They both have distance of ground,” McGaughey said of Performer and Breaking the Rules. “She [Protesting] wanted to run long. She was fourth in three Grade 1 stakes and was second in the Demoiselle at Aqueduct. They’re both nice horses, but run on different surfaces. Not that Performer couldn’t run on turf, being by Speightstown.”

The post Performer Returns With Sharp Win; McGaughey Says Cigar Mile Could Be Next appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.