McLaughlin and Godolphin dominate graded stakes
He may not be Saratoga's most well known trainer, but Kiaran McLaughlin has dominated the Spa's biggest races this summer. YNN's Matt Hunter has more.
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SARATOGA RACE COURSE -- In a normal year, Saturday's victory with Emcee in the Forego would have been enough on its own to stamp a successful Saratoga meet for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and the Godolphin Racing Stable. This year, it's just another trophy on the crowded mantle for the red hot tandem.
"I think Art Magnuson, my assistant at Belmont, might have said it the best in a text last night. He said, 'I remember the day that four wins might be sufficient at Saratoga and acceptable and a good meet'. To think about four grade ones and the Jim Dandy is just incredible," said McLaughlin.
The win in the $500,000, grade I sprint was the summer's fifth graded stakes and fourth grade I victory at Saratoga for McLaughlin. All have been for Godolphin, the powerful stable of Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai, who's perhaps the world's most prominent owner and breeder.
"The Maktoum family are great owners, great horsemen, they understand the game, they take good news with bad news very well, so we don't feel a lot of pressure like that, they're fabulous to work with," noted McLaughlin.
With some of the best bloodlines to work with, McLaughlin and Godolphin have found the winner's circle when it matters most. They started the meet strong with Questing's victory in the Coaching Club American Oaks, which was just a prelude to her dominant score in the Alabama.
Alpha, a son of Godolphin homebred Bernardini, won the Grade II Jim Dandy just a few weeks before his memorable dead heat win in the $1 million Travers. They nearly followed that up with another win with It's Tricky in the Personal Ensign.
Our racing analyst, Mike Kane, said, "I mean, this is four different horses, this isn't Cigar running every weekend and just dominating the races, this is several horses running well in the big meets shows you the depth and quality of their stable."
Godolphin tops the owners standings while McLaughlin ranks second among trainers in total earnings, despite having less than a quarter of the total wins as leading trainer Todd Pletcher. Despite his small number of overall wins, few would hesitate to trade places with him.
"You can never really expect it, but it's just been a great meet. You never expect to win four grade ones," remarked McLaughlin.