NEW YORK — Trainer Shug McGaughey won five of the six stakes races on Breeders' Cup Preview Day at Belmont Park on Saturday, including longshot Miner's Mark in the $850,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup.
"It will take a while for this to sink in," McGaughey said.
McGaughey was denied only when Personal Escort finished fifth in the one-mile Champagne for 2-year-old colts, won by Kentucky Derby future book favorite Dehere.
McGaughey's others winners were Heavenly Prize in the Frizette for 2-year-old fillies, Dispute in the Beldame for fillies and mares, Lure in the Kelso Handicap on the turf and Strolling Along in the Lawrence Realization, also on the turf.
McGaughey also saddled a winner of a non-stakes race.
Miner's Mark, ridden by Chris McCarron, was second, never farther than a half-length behind pace-setting Diazo for the first mile of the 1 1/4-mile race.
In the stretch, Miner's Mark took the lead with about an eighth of a mile to go and looked to be the winner. Belmont Stakes winner Colonial Affair then charged on the inside and the two ran head and head to the wire.
"Frankly, I didn't know who won," McGaughey said.
"I thought (Miner's Mark) had won it," McCarron said. "He runs with his head low, and in tight photos it is an advantage to a horse."
Miner's Mark was timed in 2:02 3/5 and paid $18.80.
Dehere, second by a half-length on a very sloppy track Sept. 18 at Belmont, took the lead shortly after the turn for home under McCarron and beat Crary by four lengths, with Amathos another three-quarters of a length back. Dehere, who paid $2.60, was timed in 1:35 4/5 for his fifth victory in six starts.
In the Frizette, heavily favored Strategic Maneuver finished sixth as Heavenly Prize ($6.80), coming off of a maiden victory Sept. 15, took the lead at the top of the stretch and won by seven lengths over Facts Of Love.
The 3-year-old filly Dispute ($4.80) won her fourth stakes of the year, a 1 3/4-length victory over Shared Interest in the 1 1/8-mile Beldame.
Lure ($3.80), the winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile on the turf last year, won the Kelso by 3 1/4 lengths over Paradise Creek. Lure became the probable favorite for the Breeders' Cup Mile on Nov. 6 at Santa Anita.