Honor Code, who will make his much-anticipated 2014 debut on
Wednesday at Gulfstream Park, breezed four furlongs in :47.97 this
morning over the main track. Out of action since defeating Cairo Prince
in the Remsen Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct on November 30, the son of A.P.
Indy will school in the paddock Sunday afternoon, and will face four
rivals in an 8 1/2-furlong allowance test on Wednesday.
"He worked a half-mile in :48, galloped out in a minute-and-change, I
thought he went very well," trainer Shug McGaughey said. "I'd like to
see a good race from him. Hopefully, he'll be good enough to win, but as
long as we can get the kind of race into him where we feel we can go
forward, that'll be good enough."
Owned by Lane's End Racing and Dell Ridge Farm, Honor Code rallied
from way out in his first two starts. He came up the fence en route to a
4 1/2-length score in his debut at Saratoga, and was edged by Havana in
the Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont in October. In the Remsen, the
dark bay was forwardly placed throughout, and McGaughey hopes that his
charge will get the right trip in three days' time. Among his rivals in
that allowance test is Social Inclusion, who will break from the rail
following his impressive debut at Gulfstream on February 22.
"I think that one horse in there (Social Inclusion) has got speed,
and I would like for him to have a target," McGaughey added. "That's why
I wanted to do something sharp with him today, to put him in the game.
Hopefully, he'll break well and, even though I want him to have a
target, he can't take himself completely out of it."
Javier Castellano will ride Honor Code on Wednesday. McGaughey had
originally intended to run Top Billing in the $1-million Florida Derby
(G1) on March 29, but that colt sustained a cannon bone fracture in his
right foreleg during a workout on Saturday, and there is a chance Honor
Code would take his place in the marquee event.
"The Florida Derby is possibility, especially with what happened
yesterday," McGaughey said. "It sure would be nice to get a nice, easy
race into him (on Wednesday) and he can move forward from it. It might
be pushing him up a little bit, but it's not out of the
Top Billing, the third-place finisher in the Besilu Stables Fountain
of Youth Stakes (G2) on February 22, shipped to Lexington to undergo
"He's got a non-displaced cannon bone fracture," McGaughey explained
"He got to Kentucky this morning. Dr. (Larry) Bramlage said that he
would operate on him at noon today. They'll put a couple screws in it
and probably a plate, and it should come together. They'll take the
plate out, so we're talking about three or four months. (Dr. Bramlage)
feels like he should be able to come back fine."