Cugino now a black type winner after taking Churchill Downs’ $275,000 Audubon S.
RSS Feeds Sunday, June 2, 2024

Cugino became Eddie Woods’ latest training grad to earn black type on June 1 with his front-running victory in the $275,000 Audubon S. at Churchill Downs.

The 3-year-old colt, trained by Claude McGaughey III, got slightly squeezed coming out of the gate, but recovered quickly and took the lead before the field completed the first furlong. Jockey Flavien Prat was relaxed on the lead as Cugino got the half-mile in :48.17 with a three-length lead. With no real pressure from that point, the victory was never in doubt. Cugino came home a 4 ¼-length winner in 1:50.22 for the 1 1/8-miles on a firm turf course.

“I think the blinkers have helped him keep focus and has really made him step up his game,” said assistant trainer Reeve McGaughey. “We put them on him last time and he ran a good race but I think the inside post today helped him a little more.”

Cugino is owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and Jimmy Kahig LLC. In addition to Saturday’s win, the son of Twirling Candy was second in this year’s Transylvania S. (G3) at Keeneland and the Colonel Liam S. at Gulfstream Park. His overall record is now 2-3-0 in six starts, with earnings of $364,100.