10/10/2013 9:03AM

Breeders' Cup Juvenile: Honor Code will stay home, point for Remsen

Barbara D. Livingston
Champagne runner-up Honor Code will skip the Breeders' Cup Juvenile with an eye toward his 3-year-old season.

ELMONT,  N.Y. - Honor Code, runner-up to Havana in last Saturday’s Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont Park, will skip the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov. 2 and train up to the Grade 2, $400,000 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct on Nov. 30, trainer Shug McGaughey said Thursday.

McGaughey said the decision was made Wednesday afternoon following a discussion between himself and Will Farish, managing partner of Lane’s End Racing, which co-owns the colt with Dell Ridge Farm.

“We didn’t want to go all the way to California, run him over a speed-conducive racetrack,” McGaughey said. “I just thought we’d be better off waiting for the Remsen and running him there. Our main objective is next year. I thought getting a two-turn race over at Aqueduct would be better for him. That track is pretty good at that time of the year.”

McGaughey said it was difficult to pass the $2 million Juvenile, a race in which Honor Code would likely have been favored coming off his narrow loss to Havana.

“I wish the circumstances were different,” McGaughey said. “I just don’t think he’s the right horse right now to do that with. He was a little wired right after the race, which was not unexpected, but he was fine the next day. Like I said after the race, our main objective is next year. Time and distance is going to help him.”

The Remsen is run at 1 1/8 miles.

Mark More than 1 year ago
Go for Gin Thunder Gulch Bluegrass Cat Court Vision To Honor and Serve all nice all win remsen in last 20 years or so.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
How could you forget Coronado's Quest, Wood, Travers and haskell winner. Come on Mark pull yourself together.lol. CQ better then everyone but Thunder Gulch. +1
Mark More than 1 year ago
To honor and serve was killer when on game.
Mark More than 1 year ago
TG was one of my favs. Love his mares as grass running producers.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Nice research Mark. But two names and their luck after winning Remsen have me worried. Saarland who Shug himself trained had horrible luck at Gulfstream his three year old year...illness, nagging injuries caused by concrete surface. And Windproof Castle. Horse Frank trained while I was his assistant...got pneumonia. Almost died from it. Missed prep races and Derby completely. Then Frank got him going well in time for Dwyer...pulled sacral ligament in stall day of race acting up...Two VERY nice Remsen winners that went poof.....Then last years winner from ya man....See my points. I would go to Kentucky Cup Juvenile same day as Clark. Take Orb for Clark. Possibly two wins on card. Then farm at Payson for em both!
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Windsor Castle...lol
Mark More than 1 year ago
Windproof lol. Nice auto correct.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Last years winner went on to win the grade 1 Arkansas Derby by 5 . Not to shabby.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Smart move. The best thing about the BC Juvenile horses that run well is that they attract attention early the next year and are a great bet against. Just sayn from a handicapping standpoint. On another note. You can win from anywhere this meet at Santa Anita. The numbers will show the majority of races are won on or near the lead, but that is horse racing in general. Honor Code would not be compromised by Santa Anita's track. He's compromised by his running style. It doesn't matter where he runs. If he's going to be 15 out of it every time, he's not going to win many. I think Shug will rectify that though.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Right on. Track bias another over used excuse. If you got the horse you got the horse. East coast horses don't want to come out here cool. I don't like juvenile race anyway so two year old is ok. But older horses give me a break. TIZ sure didn't have a problem with belmont.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Hoping to see Moaler in Remsen
Mark More than 1 year ago
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
The BC Juvenile isn't the only race for him. Smart decision to stay home and do the right thing with this horse. I love when the owners of nice horses don't need to go and see what might happen and just take care of there horses. Give them time, it always does a good horse good..................
Daniel Alvarado More than 1 year ago
As a fan I'm a little disappointed HC not going to BC...would've loved to see a rematch vs Havana, however I understand why Shug is keeping him home. Shug is thinking Kentucky Derby next year and HC looks like the horse that can get him another one.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
I like this move a lot not a fan of Bc juvenile as I have stated many of times. Running 2yo in the Kentucky derby is too much pressure and wear and tear at that age. The juvenile is like running a two year in a Kentucky Derby like enviroment. I hope Bigger rewards can come later for the connecions. I still don't think Havana is a cinch. He is still a 2yo traveling 3000 miles, definitely favorite, definitely one to beat. Ill put him on all tickets just cant single
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
-1. I guess this person is a fan of bc juvenile. Ha ha
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Glad they are skipping the lasix free Juvenile and not shipping an obviously high strung colt across country and back again. Smart moves all the way around to give him time to settle his mind after that tough loss. I personally don't like The Remsen. But Shug knows better than anyone how to developed a horse. I just pray that Honor Code can reverse the Remsen trend as far as Derby winners go.
Joe Rockhold More than 1 year ago
I think they're allowing Lasix this year after the low # of entries in the juvenile races last uear.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Jordan More than 1 year ago
It's their horse, so their decision. But I just wonder what the reaction would be if this was arguably the best Cali horse whose connections didn't want to run back East? My guess is it wouldn't be received well. For whatever reasons, there seems to have developed a norm in which it's ok for Eastern horses to not ship out to the "hard, speed tracks" of Cali. But no chance for divisional honors this year for Honor Code. But that shouldn't matter to them, because as they said, it's about next year.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
I will give you + 1. It wont hold up. You are right people back east would be calling chicken on west coast horse. I am happy honor code is not running. Not a fan Bc juv, just me. Skip and you have better chance at bigger rewards later. Personally I would rather win preakness and Travers and not win classic as a three year old. Then win Bc juv and horse of the year and no g1 wins at three
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Santa Anita has reworked heir surface with more sand. They did that begore the meet opened. The CHRB has advised them to make it a safer racing surface or they will have to make another attempt at switching to synthetics which is a rule the CHRB set forth for all major tracks in California. Only Santa Anita was allowed to switch back to dirt because the backstretch would flood when they got a little rain. They did not know how to fixit so they were allowed to switch back to dirt, with certain standards that must be met.
Sy Bonem More than 1 year ago
This year is not the goal and horses like this come along very rarely. The Remsen is usually not a stepping stone to Derby performance, but that's because we haven't had a horse like Honor Code running in it.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Indeed, not too many Derby horses have come out of the Remsen. Off the top of my head, Court Vision won this race. To Honor And Serve. Usually it's won by some Pletcher speedball, who gets the mile in 1:37 and widens in the final furlong to win in 1:51 and 1/5th. Last year it was Overanalyze and Normandy Invasion at the wire.