03/13/2011 1:18PM

Bay Shore prospect Fort Hughes euthanized after breaking down during workout

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
The 3-year-old sprinter Fort Hughes, winner of the Jimmy Winkfield Stakes at Aqueduct in January, sustained fatal injuries during a workout at Belmont Park.

Fort Hughes, the promising 3-year-old sprinter who won the Jimmy Winkfield Stakes at Aqueduct by 4 3/4 lengths, broke down during a workout Sunday morning at Belmont Park and had to be euthanized, according to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

McLaughlin, who was in Florida, said his New York-based assistant Art Magnuson told him Fort Hughes had gone his first quarter in 24.40 seconds and was turning into the stretch of the training track when he went down, unseating exercise rider Marsha Barrs, who was reported to have been okay.

Fort Hughes, a son of Henny Hughes owned and bred by Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum’s Darley Stable, had won 2 of 3 starts, including the Jimmy Winkfield on Jan. 17 in which he earned a 104 Beyer Speed Figure. He was preparing for a start in the Grade 3, $200,000 Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct on April 9.

“It’s sad for Team McLaughlin, and Henny Hughes and Fort Hughes; he was a very nice horse,’’ McLaughlin said. “It’s a tough part of the game. Luckily, it doesn’t happen too often, but these days are tough days when it does happen. We have to keep marching on. Soldat worked great down here at the same time. The highs and lows are pretty extreme and we try to stay in the middle sometimes.’’

McLaughlin trains Soldat, the Fountain of Youth winner who is pointing to the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on April 3.