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Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey feels that the 148th Preakness Stakes (G1) is an ideal fit for Perform, who will be making his graded-stakes debut in the May 20 Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown at Pimlico Race Course.
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The Good Magic colt, who is co-owned by Woodford Racing LLC, Lanes End Farm, Phipps Stable, Ken Langone, and Edward J. Hudson Jr., has won his last two races around two turns after not delivering in sprints.
Following a workout after he won the 1 1/8 miles Federico Tesio by a head on April 15 at Laurel under Feargal Lynch, his owners decided to pay the $150,000 supplemental fee to enter him in the Preakness.
2023 Preakness Stakes Contenders Preview & Early Picks | Derby Winner Mage To Face Several New Horses
“I think the distance is a big thing and the two turns is a big thing,” McGaughey said. “Obviously, we hope we’d get a little speed in front of us, which we probably will. In these races, they usually do. I hope we’re finishing with Mage and can outkick him. But I think that just the two turns on the dirt, the distance, the mile and three-sixteenths, the timing is pretty good. We’ve got plenty of time in between races. He had a good work here last Sunday with Lynch on him and, that’s what made up my mind that, along with his owners to say, ‘let’s give it a chance.’”
McGaughey said that Perform will probably work a half-mile at Belmont Park on Sunday morning and will ship to Pimlico on Tuesday or Wednesday.
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