10/19/2015 2:01PM

Honor Code starts late, finishes early

John Bambury
Honor Code, here running third in the Kelso, came out to the Belmont Park main track later than usual, and then zipped five furlongs in 58.16.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Honor Code heated up a cold Monday morning in these parts by blazing five furlongs in 58.16 seconds over the Belmont Park main track, his final major move for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland on Oct. 31.

Usually sent out to train shortly after sunrise, Honor Code did not come out Monday to breeze until after the renovation break at 8:45 a.m. Due to the cold temperatures – it was 33 degrees at 6 a.m. – trainer Shug McGaughey correctly assumed that the maintenance crew would not put any water on the track early, and he hoped they would do it at the break as the temperature rose. The track was watered at the break.

“I thought the track would be cuppy [early], which is not his bag as much as hearing his feet rattle,” McGaughey said.

Honor Code, with exercise rider Donna McMullen up, came through the tunnel onto the track and, in a change of tactics, went straight off, jogging the right way until breaking into a gallop around the seven-furlong pole. Kept about three paths off the rail by McMullen, Honor Code picked up speed at the five-furlong pole, but the work did not officially begin until the half-mile pole.

Honor Code went from the half-mile pole to the quarter pole in 23.23 seconds, then, once straightened away down the lane, went his next quarter in 22.91 and then the next eighth in 12.02 seconds. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:11.07 and seven-eighths in 1:24.50.

“The way he’s been training around here, I didn’t expect much less,” McGaughey said. “If he had gone in 59, that would have been perfect, but I knew the way the track was when I walked up there, the way the weather is, and how he’s been training, it didn’t matter who I put him on him. He wasn’t going to go five-eighths slow.”

Honor Code has now put in two very good workouts and several strong gallops since his third-place finish in the Grade 2 Kelso on Oct. 3, which may have been a weaker performance than McGaughey was hoping to see.

“I probably have tuned up his training a little bit,” McGaughey said. “He’s taken everything I’ve thrown at him. We’ll see how he comes out of this and go from there.”

McGaughey planned to work Honor Code this Sunday at Belmont and then ship him to Keeneland on Monday.

McGaughey said he has been told by ownership that this will be Honor Code’s final race before he goes to stud.

Honor Code, a 4-year-old ridgling by A.P. Indy owned by Lane’s End Racing and Dell Ridge Farm, is 3 for 5 this year, with Grade 1 victories in the Metropolitan Handicap and Whitney Stakes.

Kim Noble More than 1 year ago
So where is the video of his work???
Richard More than 1 year ago
well one week away and I think honor code wins the classic. as far as taking money AP and Beholder will do their share. that Kelso workout has helped all true Honor Code lovers put some extra $$$$$$$$$ in their pocket. as long as they don't pack the track down so its like a freeway HC will be just fine. so save up HC will repay only true believers
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
I am very happy Honor Code is in the Classic, as he will take on a lot of money in the wagering. I'm betting Frosted in the Classic, as I think he is peaking at the right time, but, I could see why some folks love Honor Code. However, I truly believe that Honor Code was worked too fast the other day. I assume they did that to wake him up a bit and get him on his toes for the upcoming race. I just think he'll have too much work to do down Keeneland's shorter stretch. Win or lose, it's going to be a great race. Good luck all.
Vince Piscitelli More than 1 year ago
You all just read an article on the Classic winner, guaranteed. Bet whatever youz want on and wait in the cashier's line. If he doesn't win by open lengths I will reimburse youz double your wager. Vince P
Joseph Garofalo More than 1 year ago
Vince... Honor code is a mortal Lock at 5 or 6 to 1 .. Hall of Fame trainer/connections ... will get pace to run down in Classic .. wait by windows to cash
mike More than 1 year ago
Union_Rags More than 1 year ago
Wise move 2 retire him. Get him 2 Lane's End in 1 piece, alive.
Union_Rags More than 1 year ago
He's great, and that's a great picture.
Caroll Del Muro Haircolor More than 1 year ago
I hope he'll be able to breed well. I love this horse!
Lindsey Reynolds More than 1 year ago
If I'm not mistaken, his daddy is a riding as well, hopefully that's a good sign of his stud career!