Longtime trainer-turned-jockey agent Kiaran McLaughlin has an extra special rooting interest in this year’s Kentucky Derby. Not only does he represent Luis Saez, the jockey seeking his first garland of roses (for the second time) aboard morning-line favorite Essential Quality, but he also has more than a quarter century-long association with that colt’s owner/breeder, Godolphin.
“Of course, I’m pulling for Godolphin and it’s easy to pull for Luis because I work for him and he’s such a great kid,” McLaughlin told Alicia Hughes of TVG’s Horse Racing Insider this week. “Godolphin is a special story if they could win this race. It’s a huge team and a great team here in America that basically I worked with for about 25 years, so it is special to think we’re there and have a big chance. And it would be very special for Luis being that he won (the Derby) two years ago but didn’t get to keep it (when Maximum Security was disqualified for interference). That was very difficult.”
McLaughlin stepped away from training horses full time 13 months ago, when Saez’ agent Richard DePass retired. McLaughlin, now 60, struggled with the rising cost of business in his home base of New York, as well as workforce issues, and said the decision to leaving training for the jockey agent’s role was an easy one.
As a trainer in the Kentucky Derby, McLaughlin’s best finish was a second with Closing Argument in 2005. With Saez’ mount on Essential Quality, this could be the year that both McLaughlin and the global racing operation Godolphin both get their first win in the Run for the Roses.
Read more at TVG’s Horse Racing Insider.
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