10/29/2015 12:02PM

Jerardi: Honor Code has shot to beat American Pharoah

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John Bambury
Fast early fractions could set up the Breeders' Cup Classic perfectly for Honor Code.

So, what Beyer Speed Figure is it going to take to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic? If the race is run like it should be, with American Pharoah blitzing to the front, opening up a big lead, and setting very quick fractions, I think we could be looking at a 115.

Tonalist, Honor Code, and Smooth Roller have earned Beyers of 111 or more. American Pharoah has not, but anybody who watched the Haskell knows he could have done it that day.

If the Triple Crown winner does run like he should, I think he runs the others out of the race, and he may be the one with the 115. If, for some reason, he is over the top, then quick fractions could set up a big figure like they did for Honor Code (113) in the Whitney.

Unlike Honor Code, Tonalist does not have an eye-catching move. He is more of grinder and, again, if it’s run like it should be, I don’t think this is a grinder’s race.

Victor Espinoza could be making a big mistake if he rides American Pharoah in this race like in the Belmont Stakes, when he kept the field in the race and just ran away from them in the stretch. Honor Code is too talented to keep in the race. He can run by anybody’s horse, including American Pharoah.

Keen Ice and Frosted are interesting as 3-year-olds coming off career-best Beyers. Keen Ice got a dream setup in the Travers, so I doubt he can go much beyond the 106 he got that day. Frosted’s 106 in the Pennsylvania Derby also was a career top. He got a great trip, but it was his fifth triple-digit Beyer in his last six starts. There is a chance Frosted could pull a Will Take Charge – who lost the 2013 Classic by an inch – and make one more forward move, even perhaps big enough to get into the exacta or trifecta.

The Beyers in the Juvenile are fairly screaming that Nyquist is a bet-against, with declining figures of 89, 82, and 79 in his last three, all stakes wins. There is not a lot of quality speed, and Nyquist should be near the top, but still, I just don’t see him winning.

Greenpointcrusader is going the other way, with ascending Beyers of 80, 82, and 94 in the Champagne. I don’t think it was the mud that prompted the 94. This is a horse with giant strides who was always going to get better going longer. He got way better in the Champagne. With another forward move, they are all running for second.

Exaggerator is very solid, with Beyers of 85 and 86 in stakes at Saratoga and Keeneland. This is a horse with a winning move if timed correctly.

Songbird is the very rare “omni fig.” All of her Beyers are better than any filly in the Juvenile Fillies has ever earned. The unbeaten Songbird has figures of 84, 85, and 90. Only two of her opponents have ever hit 80 on the scale: Rachel’s Valentina, an 82 when winning the Spinaway, and Land Over Sea, an 82 when a distant second in the Chandelier to Songbird.

If you think Songbird is vulnerable without the lead, go back and watch the Del Mar Debutante, a race she blew open after an early battle and a race that produced three next-out stakes winners.

I’ve been watching Runhappy’s races on a loop. He runs as fast as horses can run. In a race that appears to have a lot of early speed, this colt might prove otherwise. He could be the speed of the speed. If that is so, expect a very big Beyer, perhaps in the 110 range.

As a charter member of the Private Zone fan club, it pains me to say that I don’t think he is going to be able to keep up with these six-furlong specialists. He is more of a seven-furlong, one-mile horse, and even with eight consecutive triple-digit Beyers, I am against. He certainly could win, but I just don’t see him getting comfortable in this style of race.

Steven Leone More than 1 year ago
Honor Code has beaten Tonalist badly meant to say
Steven Leone More than 1 year ago
Honor Code has already beaten tonality badly, American Pharoah will go to the lead, but another horse will keep close by him, Honor Code is going to pounce and roll by them to win. Honor Code first, American Pharoah second, and Keen Ice third.
Steven Leone More than 1 year ago
Honor Code in his prior race won at the mile in 133.1, that is a fast time for the mile. True this race is a quarter mile longer, he has the outside post and should have no trouble with position. This horse can rocket. The pick to win. I like a good four year old over a good three year old.
Jay More than 1 year ago
Jay Cats' Breeders Cup predictions sees AP winning easy with Beholder scratched. http://fromthe300level.com/?p=1621
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Victor would be absolutely idiotic to not slow down the pace with AP. No matter what AP does, Honor Code just needs mild urging from the start and slowed down for no reason even if that means engaging AP as early as entering the far turn. Honor Code got beat last race because Appealing Tale went slow early and Honor Code was slowed down mid race for fear he was being urged too early. He got punked. If both of these horses are ridden properly, either Honor Code wins, or American Pharoah repels the charge of that freight train in one of the greatest performances of all time.
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
I'd hate to rely on getting out on this race..Hopefully i'll have built a nice bankroll before it's run.
Chuck Seddio More than 1 year ago
pace was going to be slow to begin with,honor code wont get a mile and a quarter,there is noooooo pace at all,ap will be uncontested unless lezcano gets the ride on frosted,so ap will have an easy lead in about 1:13 off a 48 half,who will be the first to contest? probably no one,which leaves honor code,keen ice and tonalist at a total victim of a paceless race. which brings me to frosted, 1-he is better now than he was in the belmont 2-mile and a half was too far,mile and quarter might be a furlong to far but with rosario he will wait till the last possible second 3-go back and watch the belmont,frosted loped along behind ap,ap was never better and at the top of the lane rosario asked the ? and frosted just didnt have it,now he is better,shorter by a furlong and is ap as good as he was in the belmont? at double digit odds frosted will be a handful,he shows he doesnt need a hot pace as tonalast,hc,and keen ice. this is the lock exacta box of your life,frosted and ap,either way it will be a nice price.seriously honor code is in it for the minor share,no way he beats these 2 great 3 year olds
Mark More than 1 year ago
I LOVED Honor Code......But NO MORE....now that Beholder scratched. Pace just got 1 second slower.
noocheroni More than 1 year ago
Save your money.Same result as the Tracers.
noocheroni More than 1 year ago
Tracers.
Frank More than 1 year ago
Go get'em Shug! Hopefully this son of the great racehorse/sire A.P. Indy goes out like his daddy then goes on to stud like his daddy....