For the first time in over three decades, Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey will have a division of horses at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas this upcoming winter.
McGaughey, who primarily operates out of Payson Park in Indiantown, Florida for the winter, will send a small division of horses to the Hot Springs oval with most of them being owned by Shortleaf Stable, which is headed by Arkansas native John Ed Anthony.
McGaughey and Anthony have been acquainted with one another for over 30 years. The two teamed up to campaign eventual 1985 Champion Older Horse Vanlandingham, who raced under Anthony’s Loblolly Stable. Vanlandingham won the 1984 Rebel at Oaklawn en route to a start in that year’s Kentucky Derby, where he finished 16th.
The small string of horses will be supervised by McGaughey’s son and assistant Reeve.
“I’ve got eight or ten horses for him and he lives in Hot Springs and he was looking for someone that would stable there,” McGaughey said. “I’ll send my son over there with them and it’ll be his operation and give him a chance to start on his own. That’s the reason we’re going there, but the purses are enticing.”
McGaughey’s first graded stakes winner took place at Oaklawn Park in 1978 when Northernette won the Grade 2 Apple Blossom, which now boasts Grade 1 status.
Oaklawn Park’s 2020 meet is set to kick off January 24 and will race through May 2