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.