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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


According to two industry sources, HorseRaceInsider has learned that Kiaran McLaughlin will announce his retirement as a trainer and instead become a jockey agent.

McLaughlin will handle riding assignments for Luis Saez, whose rides on Maximum Security resulted in the first disqualification in Kentucky Derby history, only to return the following year to win the biggest purse ever offered the winner of a Thoroughbred horse race, the $20 million Cup.

Details are sketchy at this posting. McLaughlin was contacted by HorseRaceInsider late Tuesday and we honored his request to wait until Wednesday before publishing.

McLaughlin would neither confirm nor deny the story on Tuesday.

[Ed Note: The story ultimately was confirmed by McLaughlin via text shortly after posting Wednesday morning. We had given Mr. McLaughlin our word on Tuesday that we would delay publishing the story, at his request, until he had time to contact all his owners first].

This will be the second time McLaughlin would book riding assignments. Learning his craft while spending seven years at Wayne Lukas College following the Lexington native’s freshman year at the University of Kentucky, he became a jock’s agent.

In 1991, he took Chris Antley’s book for nearly nearly two years before signing on as trainer for Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum in Dubai. He spent a decade on the shuttle from New York to Dubai where he won three training titles.

Twelve years later he opened a public stable in the U.S. where he eventually would develop three champions including 2006 Horse of the Year Invasor. He’s won some of the world’s biggest races, including a Breeders’ Cup Classic, Dubai World Cup, Belmont Stakes, Travers and Coaching Club Oaks.

McLaughlin made a decision that he would not be returning to New York when Gulfstream’s Championship Meet ends in April.

Should yesterday’s news be confirmed, it would represent a different yet familiar career path for a horsemen who has won prestigious Group 1 races all over the world.

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9 Responses

  1. I would have to assume that this decision would be associated with his multiple sclerosis condition. Nevertheless, I wish him nothing bu the best.

    1. Kyle,
      You know what they say about “assume.” It makes an “ass” of “u” and “me.”

      I’m not saying you’re wrong. It’s more like I’m hoping you’re wrong.

      Kiaran is one of the great people in racing. He was really shaken by those fines in NY. It made it look like he was exploiting his people. I can’t imagine him exploiting anyone.

      His original plan was to make Monmouth his base. But as skilled as he is, he was not going to get the A-list horses, he has become used to coming to his shedrow, in New Jersey.

      He can make a handsome living representing Saez, who is still young, hungry and immensely talented.

  2. TJ, until I learn otherwise, agree with your hypothesis. Point taken re classic horses at Monmouth Park. Love, love, love the Shore track but it’s not NY. Kentucky, the most logical spot for a native Lexingtonian would mean uprooting his family and home. And one would think that conducting business on phone less stressful than arriving at barn in the dark. Hopefully, his brother and Trish will get some of those horses…

    Curious to see what happens next should Spa City have luck in Tampa and Ajaaweek in NOLA.

  3. TVG interview with Saez revealed current agent De Pass wanted to retire. Other articles indicated that Dept. of Labor interpretation of his business was main motivation for McLaughlin giving up training.

    Were the DOL racing investigations initiated by the Obama or Trump administration?

  4. I,
    Didn’t have time to get into that issue–went up to Payson Park today, 90 minute drive– but Dept of Labor issues definitely had an impact and New York State was coming next.

    No one explained to these IRS idiots that this is what backstretch workers sign up for when they take the job. When I visited with Kiaran in January he said he’d love to hire Americans but nobody wants the job…

  5. John: It started with Kiaran, and now its Contessa. How can a trainer do business in NYS, if there are different work and/or labor rate rules for each county? if a groom rides on the van from Belmont to Aqueduct, which must be done by dozens of them per day, how do you calculate their “pay rate”? Im sure that its much simpler when they are stabled at Saratoga. However, what will happen to NY racing if this trickle becomes a flood? PETA and their fellow travellers can just remain quiet as Mario’s son finishes the job that Mario always dreamed of, to wit, the murder of Thoroughbred racing in NY. Everyone has been rightfully fighting the PETA attacks but our true “enemy” has been revealed and its a bunch of green eye-shaded bookkeepers from Albany. How can NYTHA and the NYRA stand idly by and watch this happen?

  6. Fram, NYRA is powerless to stop Albany because Albany is in control, essentially their franchise.

    NYTHA is completely frustrated as Albany demands horsemen to come to the state capitol, hat in hand, to extend agreements virtually one year at a time, trying to wear out horsemen — the way the president tries to wear out the American people. A pox on both houses.

  7. After an MRI i was diagnosed of MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS. After years on medications, symptoms worsened with tremors on my right hand, numbness and tingling, muscle weakness and loss of speech. Fortunately last year, I learnt about Rich Herbal Gardens (ww w. richherbalgardens. c om) and their effective MS Formula treatment through an MS support group on facebook the Multiple Sclerosis treatment made a great difference, most of my symptoms including balance, weakness, falling alot and others gradually disappeared. I improved greatly over the 4 months treatment, its been a year since the treatment, i have no symptoms. I have a very good quality of life and a great family!

  8. Tina, I’m sure Kiaran’s earning’s potential assured that he was getting the best of care, but I will pass this along. Talk about pre-morbidities for contracting the virus…

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