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McGaughey makes grade with three victories at Churchill Downs HORSE RACING


LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Trainer Shug McGaughey accomplished a rare feat yesterday when he saddled the winners of three graded stakes, including the Kentucky Oaks, on one program at Churchill Downs.

In the Oaks, Ogden Mills Phipps' Dispute, ridden by Jerry Bailey, upset the 3-5 favorite, Eliza, who was last year's 2-year-old filly champion.

Eliza was considered a possible Kentucky Derby starter against colts until she finished third in the Santa Anita Derby.

All three McGaughey horses were ridden by different jockeys and are owned by different McGaughey clients.

McGaughey's banner day started when Quilma, a 6-1 shot owned by Tri Honors Stable, unexpectedly defeated heavy favorite Looie Capote by three quarters of a length in the Grade II Louisiana Budweiser Breeders' Cup for fillies and mares.

The Chilean-bred mare, ridden by Jose Santos, had established her reputation as a useful grass horse. But now that she has been switched to dirt, she might excel, McGaughey said.

Claiborne Farm's Lure, winner last year of the Breeders' Cup Mile, remained undefeated in 1993 when he led from start to finish and set a course record of 1 minute, 46 1/5 seconds for nine furlongs on the grass in the Grade III Early Times Turf Classic.

Lure was ridden by Mike Smith, who has the mount today on the Kentucky Derby favorite, Prairie Bayou.

Dispute stalked pace-setting Cormorant's Flight early in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks. When Maryland-bred Cormorant's Flight stopped, Dispute surged to the front and held off a hard-fought drive by Eliza.

"I once won three graded stakes in New York one time on Belmont Day, but there wasn't any Kentucky Oaks in there," McGaughey said.

"To see Lure run the way he did, and we kind of changed Quilma around from a grass filly to run on the dirt and for her to run as good as she did makes for a great, great day."

Alex Hassinger, Jr., trainer of Eliza, said his filly "seemed a bit dull."

Neither of the one-two Oaks finishers is headed to the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, the filly counterpart to the Preakness. Dispute will race next in New York, probably in the Mother Goose Stakes, and Eliza is expected to head to California for some rest.

However, the Early Times victor, Lure, will start at Pimlico in the Dixie Handicap, McGaughey said.

Mike Luzzi, Maryland's leading stakes rider who was aboard Cormorant's Flight, said his filly didn't handle the Churchill Downs strip. The filly ended up 10th in the 11-horse field.

"She just can't go the lead and stay there against these type of fillies," said trainer Ron Cartwright.

The horse is owned by Peter Angelos, the Baltimore lawyer who heads a group interested in buying the Orioles.

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