By Mint Julep


Claude Mcgaughey III Trainer: One Kentucky Derby Winner

kentucky derby winner orb 2013

Key Takeaways

  • Claude McGaughey III, a highly respected figure in horse racing, has had an impressive career with more than 2,000 wins. He is well-known for winning the Kentucky Derby with Orb in 2013.
  • He was honored by being included in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame back in 2004. Beyond his personal victories, McGaughey’s influence on the sport continues through his mentoring and exceptional training skills.
  • A notable achievement of McGaughey is training a Breeders’ Cup winner along with her daughter and granddaughter. This demonstrates his remarkable talent in developing champion racehorses across multiple generations.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Growing up in Lexington, Kentucky, Claude R. “Shug” McGaughey III entered the world of horse training way back in 1979. His journey was like a young colt embarking on its first race—full of excitement and potential just waiting to be unleashed on the tracks.

A major turning point came for McGaughey in 1986 when Ogden Phipps noticed his talent and trusted him with training his impressive stable of horses. It was as if a rookie player had been called up to join a championship-winning team—a moment that would greatly impact his career path.

Working under Phipps wasn’t just an opportunity; it was also a big responsibility—to nurture and develop some top equine talents under his care. Like a skilled conductor leading an orchestra towards greatness, McGaughey carefully honed each horse’s skills to maximize their racing abilities.

With dedication as strong as a lighthouse guiding ships through rough waters, Claude “Shug” McGaughey III didn’t simply train horses; he transformed them into champions bound for glory on prestigious racetracks worldwide.

Major Racing Achievements

Shug McGaughey has built a remarkable legacy in the horse racing world through his unwavering commitment and exceptional skills. Boasting more than 2,000 victories, including memorable wins like Orb’s triumph at the Kentucky Derby in 2013 and Easy Goer’s dominant performance at the Belmont Stakes back in ’89, McGaughey has certainly made his mark on the sport. His talent for nurturing champion racehorses is unmatched, as seen not only through these significant wins but also by his impressive nine Breeders’ Cup victories – a clear testament to his expertise.

McGaughey’s journey to success culminated with prestigious honors such as winning the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer in 1988. This award solidified his status as one of horse racing’s most esteemed figures. Beyond individual achievements, it is McGaughey’s trifecta wins that truly showcase his skill – demonstrating that success comes from hard work and strategic training methods developed over many years. With each victorious moment on the track, he further establishes himself as an expert trainer whose influence resonates throughout the racing world.

Inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame with good reason, Claude “Shug” McGaughey III continues to captivate audiences with every stride taken by horses under his guidance. His impact goes beyond mere numbers; it lies in how he nurtures equine potential meticulously while maintaining humility despite all of his accomplishments along the way. As he guides both seasoned champions and up-and-coming talents towards greatness, McGaughey stands out as a beacon of integrity within an industry known for its highs and lows—a true master orchestrating displays of speed on racetracks worldwide.

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. The rich history and legacy of horse racing inspires future generations of trainers and jockeys.
  2. They showcase exceptional horsemanship skills that promote sportsmanship and fair competition in the sport.
  3. Horse racing adds to the excitement and tradition by highlighting these talents.


  1. Horses and riders face a high risk of injuries
  2. People have ethical concerns about how animals are treated in the sport
  3. Trainers, jockeys, and horses feel pressure to perform at top levels
  4. It costs a lot of money to train and take care of racehorses
  5. Many people criticize the industry for not taking good care of retired racehorses

Hall of Fame Induction

Shug McGaughey earned a spot in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2004 for his outstanding contributions to horse racing. During the induction ceremony, he thanked the Phipps family for their continuous support throughout his career.

McGaughey’s journey was filled with triumphs and integrity, which led him to become a legend in the racing community due to his meticulous training methods. Being recognized by the Hall of Fame cemented his status as one of history’s most respected trainers.

Throughout his successful career, McGaughey demonstrated an exceptional talent for nurturing champion racehorses. Whether they were young prospects or seasoned competitors, each horse under his care seemed destined for greatness on the racetrack.

This honor not only celebrated McGaughey’s incredible accomplishments but also highlighted how he has influenced generations of aspiring trainers and equestrians who seek to follow in his footsteps through a combination of skill, dedication, and humility that distinguished him from others in the world of horse racing.

Significance of Trifecta Wins

Imagine achieving a rare and legendary trifecta win – that’s exactly what McGaughey did! He made history by skillfully training not just one, but three exceptional horses. First, he guided Personal Ensign to victory at the Breeders’ Cup. Then came her offspring My Flag, followed by her daughter Storm Flag Flying. This incredible accomplishment goes beyond impressive; it’s like predicting rain on a sunny day—uncommon and extraordinary.

In the world of horse racing tales, hitting such a trifecta is akin to discovering three four-leaf clovers all at once—a true rarity. But under McGaughey’s guidance, what seems impossible becomes reality. His knack for nurturing champion bloodlines across generations isn’t just luck; it’s a mix of strategic brilliance and unwavering dedication—the kind that keeps you up at 4:00 AM without hitting snooze even once.

These victories aren’t mere statistics—they are reflections of McGaughey’s legacy as one of the greatest trainers in horse racing history. Each win adds another stroke to his masterpiece—a canvas painted with determination, passion, and an enduring love for these majestic animals who carry dreams on their hooves. It’s like watching puzzle pieces fall perfectly into place or stars aligning in the night sky—one thing is clear: Claude McGaughey III isn’t just shaping horses; he’s molding history within our beloved racetracks.

Master Trainer: Shug McGaughey’s Racing Legacy

Attribute Information
Name Claude R. “Shug” McGaughey III
Occupation Trainer
Born January 6, 1951 (age 73)
Career wins 2,000+ (ongoing)
Major racing wins – Apple Blossom Handicap (1978, 1995)
– Spinster Stakes (1983, 1984, 1995, 2008)
– Jockey Club Gold Cup (1985, 1989, 1993)
– Washington, D.C. International Stakes (1985)
– Alabama Stakes (1986, 1991, 1994, 2006)
– Many more including Breeders’ Cup and American Classics wins
Racing awards Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer (1988)
Honours National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (2004)
Significant horses Easy Goer, Personal Ensign, Heavenly Prize, Inside Information, Lure, Coronado’s Quest, Code of Honor, My Flag, Pine Island, Pleasant Home, Rhythm, Smuggler, Classy Cathy, Storm Flag Flying, and many more

Breeder’s Cup Success

Shug McGaughey is widely known for his incredible success at the Breeders’ Cup. He has a remarkable ability to spot talent and understand his horses like no other, leading to some unforgettable wins in Breeders’ Cup history. One of his most impressive achievements was guiding Lure to consecutive victories in the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Mile, showcasing his talent for developing a horse’s skills to perform at their best on racing’s grandest stage.

McGaughey reached the peak of his training career with the exceptional mare Personal Ensign, who enjoyed an undefeated career that culminated in a thrilling triumph at the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Distaff under McGaughey’s expert guidance. This iconic win not only highlighted McGaughey’s excellent skill in preparing horses for top-tier competition but also established Personal Ensign as one of racing’s all-time greats—a testament to both her remarkable abilities and Shug’s unwavering commitment to nurturing champions on the racetrack.

McGaughey’s strategic approach and strong bond with his horses have consistently propelled them towards success at elite levels of competition, establishing him as a formidable presence at major events like the Breeders’ Cup. His knack for instilling confidence in his equine partners while fine-tuning their skills sets him apart as an extraordinary trainer—one capable of turning aspirations into reality amidst cheering crowds and thundering hooves beneath stadium lights where champions are crowned.

In essence, Shug McGaughey’s legacy at the Breeders’ Cup serves as a shining example of excellence within thoroughbred horse racing. His numerous victories highlight not just his deep understanding of horsemanship but also his lasting impact on shaping future generations within this dynamic sport. With each triumphant stride across that revered turf, McGaughey further solidifies himself in racing lore—his name whispered alongside tales of greatness and glory emblazoned with victory upon victory earned through passion, perseverance, and an unwavering dedication to perfection on race day.

Training Legacy and Impact

Shug McGaughey has had a profound impact on the world of horse racing, starting from his time at the renowned Claiborne Farm to now being recognized as a key figure in the sport. His training philosophy focuses on patience and precise skill, which has led him to develop champion racehorses like Orb. Orb’s victory in the Kentucky Derby in 2013 not only solidified McGaughey’s reputation as an expert trainer but also demonstrated his ability to bring out the best in his horses when it truly counts.

McGaughey’s induction into the Racing Hall of Fame is a testament to his remarkable talent and unwavering dedication over many years. His place among legends highlights his numerous achievements, including multiple wins at the Kentucky Derby and success at Breeders’ Cup events. However, beyond awards and trophies lies a more profound legacy—one characterized by integrity, humility, and an undying passion for nurturing both horses and individuals aspiring within this industry.

Whether it was Code of Honor triumphing under McGaughey’s guidance or Coronado’s Quest showcasing unparalleled grace on racetracks—each stride mirrored their trainer’s meticulous pursuit of excellence. Through mentorship that goes beyond mere instruction to embody genuine care and belief in every horse that passes through his stables, Shug continues to influence not just winners on tracks but also future leaders within this cherished sport—a legacy much greater than any single race outcome could fully capture.

Colorful Tales of Racing Legends

  1. ### Exciting Stories of Racing Legends: Meet Claude McGaughey III, the Trainer
  2. **Keeping it in the Family:** Claude McGaughey III hails from a family of horse experts, where his father and grandfather all excelled as top trainers in the thrilling world of horse racing.
  3. **The Big Win at the Belmont Stakes:** Back in 1989, McGaughey guided the incredible Easy Goer to victory at the prestigious Belmont Stakes, securing his spot among racing’s elite.
  4. **Hall of Fame Honor:** The year 2004 marked an unforgettable moment for McGaughey when he was welcomed into the esteemed National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame – a well-deserved recognition for his remarkable contributions to the sport.
  5. **Building Strong Bonds:** Renowned for standing by his owners and showing unwavering commitment to his horses, McGaughey has fostered enduring connections within the vibrant horse racing community.
  6. **Training with Care:** Known for his thoughtful and precise training methods, McGaughey focuses on nurturing each horse under his wing with patience and attention to detail, ensuring their well-being and growth are paramount.

Personal Reflections on Success

Claude McGaughey III’s journey in the world of horse racing is a testament to his unwavering dedication and deep gratitude towards those who supported him. His profound appreciation for the accolades he has received, such as winning prestigious awards like the Eclipse Award and being inducted into the Hall of Fame, not only highlights his skills but also shows how humble he is despite his success. Throughout his impressive career, McGaughey’s commitment to excellence has always been strong, making him stand out as an outstanding trainer.

Over time, McGaughey has built a legacy filled with remarkable achievements on some of horse racing’s biggest stages. With several wins at the Kentucky Derby under his belt, he continues to show that he has an exceptional talent for developing champion racehorses. His victories in trifecta races and successes at the Breeders’ Cup are proof of both his training abilities and strategic thinking when it comes to competing in high-stakes events.

When looking back on all that Claude McGaughey III has accomplished so far, you can see qualities beyond just winning – integrity, passion for taking care of horses’ well-being, and a lasting love for horse racing shine through everything he does. Regardless of setbacks or triumphs along the way, Claude remains dedicated to improving himself while staying true to values that have guided him throughout his illustrious career. As he continues contributing greatly to this cherished sport with grace and perseverance; one thing remains certain: Claude McGaughey III serves as an inspiration for aspiring trainers worldwide.

Ongoing Contributions to Horse Racing

Shug McGaughey has made significant contributions to horse racing that go beyond just his exceptional training skills. He is dedicated to nurturing equine talent and promoting a culture of sportsmanship within the industry. His commitment to excellence shines through in every race he competes in, whether it’s the prestigious Travers Stakes or the challenging Whitney Handicap. McGaughey boosts confidence in both his horses and jockeys by emphasizing teamwork and perseverance as essential elements for success on the track.

In addition, Shug McGaughey’s impact on thoroughbred racing goes far beyond wins and losses; he serves as a mentor to up-and-coming trainers looking for guidance from a seasoned pro. By sharing his knowledge generously, he ensures that the tradition of horsemanship continues thriving for future generations. Through his humility and genuine love for these majestic animals, McGaughey sets an example of what it means not only to excel as a trainer but also as a caring steward of one of sport’s oldest traditions.

In today’s ever-changing world where champions come and go each season, Claude “Shug” McGaughey III stands out as a symbol of consistency and class in horse racing communities worldwide. His ongoing efforts remind us that true greatness isn’t solely measured by trophies won but also by hearts touched along the way. As fans eagerly await each new chapter penned by this respected trainer, one thing remains certain: Shug’s journey is still unfolding—it’s moving steadily towards legendary status.”


1. What sets Claude McGaughey III apart as a trainer in the world of horse racing?

Claude McGaughey III excels as a horse trainer in the competitive world of horse racing. He is known for his remarkable skills in training champion racehorses, winning multiple Kentucky Derby races, being inducted into the Hall of Fame, achieving success at the Breeders’ Cup, securing trifecta victories and leaving behind a lasting legacy of hard work and humility that still influences the sport today.

2. How many Kentucky Derby triumphs has Claude McGaughey III achieved, and which horses were involved?

Claude McGaughey III won one Kentucky Derby, with Orb in 2013.

3. Can you elaborate on Claude McGaughey III’s induction into the Hall of Fame and its significance to his career?

Claude McGaughey III’s entry into the Hall of Fame shows his exceptional talent, unwavering commitment, and significant influence on horse racing. This cements his reputation as one of the top trainers in the sport’s history.

4. What are some of the notable champion racehorses that Claude McGaughey III has developed over the years?

Claude McGaughey III has skillfully trained and led outstanding racehorses such as Easy Goer, Lure, and Orb to triumph, demonstrating his exceptional ability in cultivating champions within the horse racing industry.

5. How has Claude McGaughey III’s success extended beyond the Kentucky Derby, particularly in Breeders’ Cup races?

Claude McGaughey III has achieved great success not only at the Kentucky Derby but also in Breeders’ Cup races. His exceptional training skills have led to multiple victories and established him as a legendary figure in the horse racing world.

6. In what ways has Claude McGaughey III’s training legacy influenced the next generation of trainers in horse racing?

Claude McGaughey III has left a lasting impact on the new wave of horse racing trainers. His commitment to hard work, staying humble, and always striving for greatness has motivated young trainers to focus on the health and growth of their horses above everything else.