03/07/2014 5:53PM

Gulfstream Park: Honor Code to make return in Wednesday allowance

Tom Keyser
Honor Code hasn't raced since winning the Remsen on Nov. 30.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Honor Code will make his much-anticipated 3-year-old debut in a $75,000 allowance race at 1 1/16 miles on Wednesday at Gulfstream Park. Honor Code, who suffered his only setback in three starts in the Grade 1 Champagne, will face just four rivals, Social Inclusion, Specialnightaction, We’re All Set and Ta Bueno.

Honor Code has not started since outgaming Cairo Prince by a nose to capture the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct on Nov. 30. He was shipped to Payson Park shortly thereafter to prepare for his 3-year-old campaign but missed 10 days of training due to minor bruising in his back ankles. Trainer Shug McGaughey transferred Honor Code from Payson to Gulfstream once he was ready to resume training in late January. He’s had four workouts at Gulfstream since Feb. 12, including an impressive 59.18 five-furlong drill with regular rider Javier Castellano aboard last Sunday.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

McGaughey said Honor Code would blow out an easy half-mile here on Sunday.

“He’s had a bit of an eventful winter, but everything is going in the right direction at the moment,” said McGaughey. “He’s been training well and his work the other day was excellent. He’s ready to run and I believe he’ll give a good account of himself in this race.”

McGaughey had originally considered the Grade 2 Rebel at Oaklawn Park on March 15 for Honor Code’s return. But he said Gulfstream racing secretary P.J. Campo approached him a couple of weeks ago, asking if he’d be willing to keep Honor Code locally if he were able to make an allowance race fill.

“I never asked for the race, they came to me,” said McGaughey. “P.J. said he thought he could make the race go and I told him if he did, I’d run Honor Code here. If this race hadn’t have gone, we’d have run him in the Rebel next Saturday. The biggest factor in the decision to stay and run at Gulfstream is that we don’t have to ship.”

McGaughey said if all goes well in his 3-year-old bow, Honor Code would likely have his second and final Kentucky Derby prep in the $1 million Wood at Aqueduct on April 5.

rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
prose More than 1 year ago
I agree emphatically with Phil Quintero (see below) who said, "I disagree with this move. You cannot baby horses like this. The colt needs to run against the tough company." An allowance race at a mile and then the Wood? They are not building an adequate foundation of fitness for a horse being asked to go 1 1/4 miles against the best of his generation. Too little, too late. I would appreciate comments on my post ! Thank you.
Dennis Mathews More than 1 year ago
No doubt Shug will be calling for your advice !
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Honor Code proved already he can run a little bit. With set backs do to minor injury, I wouldn't call it babying, I would call it taking care of your horse. If a horses isn't ready , there not ready regardless if its close to the Kentucky Derby and you need points. This Allw. race on Wednesday isn't guaranteed for Honor Code to win. The next one will be if, and I say if the connections want the Derby and they think he will be ready. I would say that Shug knows Honor Code much better than Phil Q. and Phil Q, being in the winners circle on the first Saturday in May would be another dream, not the most important thing, the horse is.................
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
he already has a foundation a major 2 yo ...and will get 2 preps into the derby as a closer thats all he needs.
Catherine Garvin More than 1 year ago
It's telling Shug was approached by Gulfstream P.J. Campo. I agree with Shug - Honor Code hasn't raced since November 30: It's a great opportunity to protect HC from any outside risk of travel time, etc. Also, April 5 $1 million Wood is a back to back travel if he had shipped HC to the Rebel Stakes. It's a smart move to protect HC. Top Billing is destined to run in Florida Derby. Shug doesn't want to hatch his eggs too soon by putting these stablemates head to head in a race unless he has to...After all if TB and HC both race in the Kentucky Derby that will be an eye opening experience. Plus Cairo Prince and others. Sad to hear Havana is out with injury. March 12 is my birthday so I'm pleased to hear HC will run and hopefully win.
Daniel Alvarado More than 1 year ago
Thank You! Finally someone with some sense.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This just in. Top Billing is out.
Phil Quintero More than 1 year ago
I disagree with this move. You cannot baby horses like this. The colt needs to run against the tough company. Being in the winners' circle the 1st Saturday in May is the most important goal. HE NEEDS POINTS!! BAD MOVE in my opinion.
Lefty More than 1 year ago
The Problem is if Honor Code isn't 100% I, also think it's sill for him to travel to New York. That's too far! He should go to the Arkansas Derby. I am disappointed by the change of events with regards to Shuggy Baby and Honor Code.
Daniel Alvarado More than 1 year ago
Shug doesn't have to bring HC to Oakland or Arkansas just cuz u live there...
Matt D. More than 1 year ago
Stunner! On the current Derby points list there are 8 colts above Honor Code, 2 tied with him at 14 points and at least 10 still on the derby trail within 4 points. Between now and the Wood there are 7 races (not including UAE) with derby points, five of those races with a 50-20-10-5 format and two with a 100-40-20-10 format. Of the 28 placements (7races x top 4) 16 are providing more points than HC has accumulated to this point in time! What it means is that HC will most likely be well outside the top 20 qualifiers come Wood day. Last year Falling Sky was 17th on the list with 30 derby points. I mention this because, in an injury riddled run-up last year, 8 colts fell off of the trail with 30 or more points (including Flashback-70, Hear the Ghost-50, Violence-30). So far this has not been the case this year. For this reason, even if we have 3 or 4 leaders drop out in the next 8 weeks, it is probably going to take at least 30 to 35 points to qualify for the Derby. If that figure is in the ballpark a third place finish (20 points) in the Wood may not be good enough. I like W. EISELE'S reference to a race being worth 5 works. But as long as you're gonna run why not run in a race with points? It's not Shug's style to put all his eggs in one basket. Maybe he's telling us something.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
if he gets his allowance prep he will probably win the wood and sail into the derby.as a fresh horse.even a 2nd gets him there and probably a 3rd too.many of the remaining preps are going points are going to the same horses who are already on top with points i say 20 is more than enough to get in.
Chuck Berger More than 1 year ago
Just a note to say thanks to all of you who have been watching these 3 year olds. I personally have not watched 95% of them. Will keep an eye out for them. Thanks again.
Ian Phillips More than 1 year ago
this trainer knows what he is doing. honor code will make nice works of this field. easy prep for wood that will get him to kent derby where he will be favored. best bred 3year old in land. red hot javier in saddle.
Steve Reed More than 1 year ago
If he is "Right" off the allowance why not wheel him back in The Florida Derby ? just like ORB.
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
Trainers like 4 to 5 weeks rest between races leading up to The Derby...
Daniel Alvarado More than 1 year ago
Wow...so many folks jumping off the bandwagon already because of this? If anything this shows how much confidence Shug has in this horse to say, "Ok, all we need is one shot to earn enough derby points". As long as he's sound (knock on wood) HC will be in the starting gate come the first Sat in May IMO.
Jeff Hall More than 1 year ago
STINKS of something being wrong!!! My money is on them just trying to save face, and breeding value, knowing that he'll never run in Derby. Will ride off into the sunset leaving everyone to wonder "what would've been!" Sucks!!
William More than 1 year ago
Shug nor the owners would put any of there horses in a position to get hurt for stud value never mind money. Its always what is best for the horse. Just look at the records before making opinion.