03/23/2014 3:18PM

Kentucky Derby prospect Honor Code out with suspensory tear

Tom Keyser
Honor Code worked a half-mile Saturday in preparation for the Wood Memorial, but returned with a slight tear in a suspensory ligament and will be sidelined indefinitely.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -  Honor Code is off the Kentucky Derby trail and will be sidelined indefinitely after being diagnosed with a slight tear in his right hind upper suspensory, trainer Shug McGaughey said  Sunday.

Honor Code was considered one of the leading Derby candidates entering his 3-year-old campaign after winning 2 of  3 starts at 2, including the Grade 2 Remsen, his lone setback last season a neck defeat in the Grade 1 Champagne. But Honor Code’s 3-year-old debut was delayed after he missed 10 days of training in January due to a minor ankle issue. He finally returned to the races at Gulfstream Park on March 12, finishing a well-beaten second behind Social Inclusion, who set a track record winning the 1 1/16- mile  allowance race by 10 lengths.

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

Honor Code worked a half-mile in  48.12 seconds Saturday at Gulfstream Park and was slated to have his final Derby prep in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial on April 5.

“He had a little filling in his right hind suspensory this morning  and when we checked it out, we discovered he had a slight tear,” said McGaughey, who won the 2013 Kentucky Derby with Orb. “We’ll give him 60 days off and then re-evaluate. The positive side is that he should be able to come back and have a productive career later on.”

Honor Code is the latest in a long list of highly regarded 3-year-olds who have suffered injuries that have ended their Kentucky Derby aspirations,  including the second for McGaughey, whose Top Billing is currently recuperating from surgery to repair a cracked cannon bone. Other prominent defections include the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner New Year’s Day and reigning 2-year-old champion Shared Belief.

“It just goes to show you what this game can be like, when you see so many of these top 3-year-olds suddenly out of the Derby picture,” said McGaughey. “But that’s part of the gig.”  

prose More than 1 year ago
You know I knew Honor Code was not right in his march 12 race. I keyed Social Inclusion in several bets-- doubles, pic 3s and a pic 4. None of the prices were spectacular but I cashed every one of them and more than quadrupled the money invested. I saw it so clearly when I looked at the race, and when Mike Beer and Dan Ilman both picked Honor Code as their race of the day selection, my decision was sealed. I expected Social Inclusion to win but not set a track record! Wow! In his second start? As a 3 yo? Let's wait and see what he does in the Florida Derby where he will face pace pressure. He might collapse. He might not.
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
I just knew that this horse was bad luck this year once he hurt his ankle back in January. Too bad, but I've done well by passing on any 3 year old who is hurt and comes back in the big races. THE DERBY requires stamina and steady improvement to win the gold cup!!!
jttf More than 1 year ago
young maturing colts cant take the abuse of running dehydrated. young horses cant take running on hard no cushion surfaces. horses are sidelined much more often with 6 furlong or longer works. stop the abuse
Bruce Epstein More than 1 year ago
I've played for over 40 years and never have and never will make a Derby future bet. It's just silly to hope you horse gets in "fit" and wins.
GuyFleegman1 More than 1 year ago
Horses get hurt...it is a bummer that they do...but it is a brutal yet magnificent industry...he will be hookin up with mares early next year.
Old timer More than 1 year ago
unfortunately Shug said it pretty well... it is part of the game. Those future wager bets on "all others" are looking better all the time.
mikey More than 1 year ago
This year's Derby will be loaded with also ran's.None of the starter's will have a shot for the TC.Maybe Belmont can lower their prices.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Wow, really going out on a limb there, mikey.
Allan Gauthier More than 1 year ago
Anyone who wins the derby has a shot at the TC.........simple as that!
Bruce Epstein More than 1 year ago
Stop, Stop, Stop, they put the "show" on and can charge whatever they want. Seems the complainers are always the same one's. Lower take out, lower admission, always lower this and that, lower cost of DRF. Things go up, grow up and live with it. Spend you time handicapping then you'd have enough cash for the price increases and stop complaining.
MelThomas86 More than 1 year ago
How is the KD futures a suckers bet? I have a play in Futures III with Cairo Prince, Intense Holiday, Tapiture & Strong Mandate with All others in a box. Oh and General Arod for Second only. Right now my 'Sucker bet' with all Others horses looks like a Cavelry Charge with the loss of so many contenders from the Pool. I'll be waiting at the Cashiers window with this ticket. Hoping all others loses. Also bumped up on Cairo Prince on top. Any pool 3 wagerers out there?
Joe Rockhold More than 1 year ago
Social Inclusion is going to ruin your day.
MelThomas86 More than 1 year ago
Social Inclusion is one of my 'All Others' calvary, so is Hoppertunity and Ring Weekend and Chitu and Midnight Hawk and I really Love the latest to join, We Miss Artie who I will play in the next pool this week. You see? I may have ten All Others horses at the post on Derby Day in this Tix.
Cathy More than 1 year ago
How about 100-1 on Hopportunity bet in Vegas in February
MelThomas86 More than 1 year ago
That was a good bet, I like how Hoppertunity improved and got the win while shipping from Callif. Of course the odds are good right now, but you still get nothing if he doesn't win.
RICKY More than 1 year ago
and the violin plays.....and plays ....
HRoberish More than 1 year ago
As I've said before, the KD Futures Bet is SUCKER BET. There should be a wager not on who wins the Derby but odds should be given on horses to just make the starting gate. That is an accomplishment in itself. These poor 3 yr olds fall by the wayside BEFORE they even make the Derby. If I owned a promising 3 yr old I would not even put him in the Derby.I'd let him mature more for a better chance at having a meaningful racing career. The Derby (and BC Juvenile) is the KOD (kiss of death). Most who run in it accomplish little else thereafter (on the track that is). Owners need to smarten up!!!