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Shug McGaughey Planning Return To Preakness With Perform | 2023 Preakness Stakes News
Perform winning the Federico Tesio Stakes (Tim Sudduth/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

Shug McGaughey Planning Return To Preakness With Perform | 2023 Preakness Stakes News

For the first time since 2013, Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey has a Preakness Stakes (G1) horse.

Perform, owned by Woodford Racing, Lane’s End Farm, Phipps Stable, Ken Langone and Edward Hudson, will be in the field for the May 20 Preakness at Pimlico Race Course after being supplemented for $150,000.

Perform, a son of Good Magic – the same sire as Preakness runners Blazing Sevens and Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mage – won the Federico Tesio at Laurel on April 15. 

The 1 ⅛-mile Tesio, was Perform’s second-straight win and came in his seventh career start. Perform won the race by a head at odds of 10-1 and was ridden by Maryland veteran Feargal Lynch.  Lynch is expected to ride Perform in the Preakness; it will be the first mount in the race for the 45-year-old jockey.

McGaughey’s last Preakness horse was Kentucky Derby winner Orb, who finished fourth in 2013.

“It’s been a while,” McGaughey said. “Just haven’t had the horse.”

He also finished second in 1989 with Easy Goer and fifth in 1984 with Pine Circle.

After five failed tries in breaking his maiden, Perform broke through in his sixth start when he won at Tampa on March 1 going a mile and 40 yards.

“Two turns have helped him a lot,” McGaughey said. “Things changed when we started going around two turns. If I didn’t think he fit with these, I would not be running him. We will have to wait and see, but his last two races around two turns have been pretty good.”

Perform is scheduled to work at Belmont Park on Sunday. He has had two works there since winning the Tesio, the most recent coming last Sunday when he worked five furlongs in 1:00.56.