Hall of Fame trainer Claude R. "Shug" McGaughey III will be feted as the Honored Guest at the 82nd Testimonial Dinner of the Thoroughbred Club of America at Keeneland on Sunday evening.
A native of Lexington, McGaughey started training at Keeneland in 1979. After working for some notable stables, McGaughey was named the private trainer for the Phipps Stable in New York in 1985 and won the Eclipse Award as Outstanding Trainer just three years later following a season that saw him condition undefeated champion Personal Ensign and juvenile champion Easy Goer.
McGaughey was inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame in 2004. He has conditioned four Hall of Fame horses — Personal Ensign, Easy Goer, Inside Information and the newly inducted Lure. His other champions include Heavenly Prize, Queena, Rhythm, Smuggler, Storm Flag Flying and Vanlandingham.
In total, McGaughey has won nine Breeders' Cup races, tied for second on the all-time list behind D. Wayne Lukas. Highlighting his Breeders' Cup résumé is Personal Ensign's dramatic rally to nip Lukas' filly Winning Colors by a nose in the 1988 Distaff at Churchill Downs, to retire undefeated in 13 starts.
McGaughey earned his first Kentucky Derby win this May with Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable's homebred Orb. McGaughey had previously finished second in the 1989 Kentucky Derby with Easy Goer, who went on to give him his first Triple Crown race victory in that year's Belmont Stakes.
To date, McGaughey ranks as the 10th all-time leading trainer with nearly $120 million in earnings, and after more than 8,000 starts, he is approaching the 1,800-win milestone.