06/12/2002 11:00PM

McGaughey has bypass

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Eclipse Award winning trainer Shug McGaughey underwent triple bypass surgery Thursday morning at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. Hospital officials would not release McGaughey's condition, but friends said he was doing well following the lengthy procedure.

"Everything went as expected," Buzz Tenney, McGaughey's longtime assistant trainer, said Thursday afternoon. "He's in recovery now."

According to Tenney, McGaughey, 51, underwent an examination Tuesday afternoon that revealed McGaughey had three blockages. He was admitted Tuesday night and underwent a four-hour surgical procedure Thursday morning.

"He said if he didn't get this done, he was going to have a heart attack sooner or later," Tenney said.

Tenney said that McGaughey will likely remain hospitalized through the weekend and will need several weeks of home recovery before being allowed to return to the barn. Tenney estimated that McGaughey would return to his barn in early to mid-July.

Tenney said the horses will continue to run under McGaughey's name, and it will be business as usual until he returns.

McGaughey, a native of Lexington, Ky., took out his trainer's license in 1979 and was named private trainer for the Phipps family in the fall of 1985.

Among his career highlights thus far are campaigning Personal Ensign to an undefeated career (13 for 13), including an Eclipse Award as champion older filly and mare in 1988, the year McGaughey won his Eclipse.

Other champions trained by McGaughey include Easy Goer, Heavenly Prize, Inside Information, Queena, Rhythm, and Vanlandingham. On Oct. 16, 1993, McGaughey won six races at Belmont Park, including five stakes.