Pink Sands Goes Last To First For Shug

January 25, 2020

Pink Sands

Photo Credit: Derbe Glass

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gainesway Stable and Andrew Rosen’s Pink Sands powered down the middle of the track to complete a last-to-first move and earn her second straight graded-stakes triumph of the Championship Meet in in Saturday’s $200,000 Inside Information (G2) at Gulfstream Park.

The 42nd running of the seven-furlong Inside Information for fillies and mares 4 and older was the sixth of nine stakes, six graded, worth $5.2 million on a blockbuster 12-race Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series presented by Runhappy program anchored by the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at 1 1/8 miles on dirt and $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) at 1 3/16 miles on the grass.

Ridden by Jose Ortiz for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, Pink Sands ($12.60) completed the distance in 1:23.42 over a fast main track for her fourth win from five tries at Gulfstream, including the one-mile Rampart (G3) Dec. 14.

It was the fourth victory in the race for McGaughey, and first since the race was renamed in 2009 after the Hall of Fame mare he trained to 14 wins from 17 lifetime starts, six of them in Grade 1 company, from 1993-95 for Ogden Mills Phipps. McGaughey also won with Cat Cay (2002), Educated Risk (1995) and Mickey’s Echo (1985) when it was known as the Shirley Jones Handicap.

Liza Star was sent to the lead from her rail post and took the field through a quarter-mile in 22.47 seconds before Blamed, racing for the first time since her victory in the Royal Delta (G3) last February, took over after a half in 45.34. Ortiz began to work on Pink Sands around the turn, putting her into a contending position and splitting horses at the top of the stretch, then set her down for a drive as they caught and passed multiple Grade 1 winner and 8-5 favorite Spiced Perfection and edged clear.

Wildwood’s Beauty followed Pink Sands’ move and got up for second, with Nonna Madeline third and Spiced Perfection fourth. Our Super Freak, sent off at 50-1, rallied for fifth.

Winning trainer Shug McGaughey (Pink Sands): “That was special. This filly has gotten good, and she loves this track. The guys who own her are friends of mine, and it’s always fun to participate in these big races.”

“She looked so good warming up, then she dropped her head when Jose brought her to the gate. She was so laid back, I thought, ‘I hope she’s not going to sleep.’ But Jose told me he had horse all the time. She had the pace in front of her – [22.47, :45.34]; that’s pretty quick going seven-eighths. Today was her best race yet.”

Winning jockey Jose Ortiz (Pink Sands): “She’s a come-from-behind filly, I can’t change that. But I was expecting a hot pace. I saw it was 45 and change; I was expecting like 44. But she was traveling well. I didn’t fall asleep on her and I tried to be as close as I could without taking her out of her rhythm. When she got to the quarter pole, she started rolling. I was just waiting for some room and when she got it, she was there for me.”

Jose Ortiz Aboard Pink Sands
Photo Credit: Lauren King

“Before, you had to ride her the whole way and she would kind of just grind it out. She wouldn’t accelerate; she was just kind of one-paced. But today, she accelerated. She flew home from the eighth pole to the wire. I think probably the cutback in distance is what she wants to do.”

Incredible run by @PastTheWire continues with a 4/1 winner in GP 5th Race!!!

Rick St. Pierre @rstp354 View testimonials