09/06/2006 11:00PM

McLaughlin to get MS honor


The National Multiple Sclerosis Society will honor trainer Kiaran McLaughlin at its 2006 Dinner of Champions, to be held on Oct. 12 at Churchill Downs.

Among the honorary chairmen for the event will be Hall of Fame trainer

D. Wayne Lukas, under whom McLaughlin worked for seven years, reigning two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher, and retired Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens.

McLaughlin is the trainer of this year's Belmont Stakes winner, Jazil, as well as leading handicap horse Invasor and top 3-year-old sprinter Henny Hughes. McLaughlin, 45, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998 while he was working for Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin Racing, splitting his time between Dubai and the United States. He suffered a setback in February 1999, when he developed blurred vision and needed a cane to walk. For the last seven years, he has taken a daily shot of Copaxone to keep the disease - a chronic, unpredictable neurological disease that affects the central nervous system - under control.

"It takes a strong will to overcome the daily challenges that come while living with MS," said Doug Dressman, president of the National MS Society Chapter. "Kiaran has obviously dedicated himself to being successful not only as a trainer, but also as an advocate and support system for others affected by MS."