Trainer Reeve McGaughey, Son Of Hall Of Famer, ‘Excited’ For First Career Starter

Trainer Reeve McGaughey will have to wait another day for his first career starter.

McGaughey’s initial Oaklawn entrant, Fast Talking, was scratched from Saturday’s ninth race after failing to draw in from the also-eligible list. Now, McGaughey is scheduled to be a “trainer of record” for the first time in Sunday’s featured eighth race, a first-level allowance sprint for 3-year-olds, with Crocketts Bluff for breeder/owner John Ed Anthony of Hot Springs.

“Excited to get started,” McGaughey said during training hours Saturday morning.

McGaughey, 30, is the son of Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey and the nephew of Charles LoPresti, trainer of two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan.

It was assumed when Shug McGaughey decided to have a string at Oaklawn for the first time since 1985 this year – based largely on reuniting in 2019 with Anthony – the horses would run under his name. Reeve McGaughey said he spent the last several winters working for his father in Florida and had a lengthy stint as an assistant under LoPresti.

“We planned to work through the year and then when we got to Oaklawn, they would go in my name,” Reeve McGaughey said, adding he and his father didn’t want to publicize the decision.

Reeve McGaughey said he has 11 horses at Oaklawn. The bulk are for Anthony, among the most successful owners in Oaklawn history. Anthony, under his Loblolly banner, campaigned three Eclipse Award winners – Temperence Hill (champion 3-year-old male of 1980), Vanlandingham (champion older male of 1985) and Prairie Bayou (champion 3-year-old male of 1993). Shug McGaughey trained Vanlandingham, who won Oaklawn’s $100,000 Rebel Stakes for 3-year-olds in 1984.

Reeve McGaughey said he’s been around horses his entire life and is prepared for the next chapter in his career.

“I’ve been lucky to work for some people that have given me a good education,” McGaughey said.

Crocketts Bluff, a son of Tale of the Cat, returns to sprints after breaking his maiden Oct. 31 at Laurel and finishing sixth in a first-level allowance race Nov. 14 at Laurel. Both races were a mile. Crocketts Bluff finished seventh in his 6-furlong career debut Oct. 3 at Laurel.

“He’s a nice horse,” McGaughey said. “Gave him a little bit of a break and he’s been doing really well since. He’s ready to run.”

Also under McGaughey’s care are Grade 3 winner Plainsman and recent Aqueduct maiden special weights graduate Stanhope, both for Anthony’s Shortleaf Stable. Stanhope, a 3-year-old son of Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, worked 3 furlongs in :36.20 Saturday morning.

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