Honor Code, a 2-year-old son A.P. Indy, went from last to first to capture his career debut by 4-1/2 lengths in the slop at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday.
Trained by Shug McGaughey and ridden by John Velazquez, Honor Code beat seven rivals including Pletcher favorite Misconnect and Al Stall Jr.'s Purple Sky.
a big, nice horse," said winning conditioner McGaughey. "He's had a reputation for a while. [Jockey] Johnny
[Velazquez] came over and worked him in the gate one day, and he worked
real well. I knew he wouldn't be quick, but I knew he would finish. I
didn't think he'd get back as far back as he did, and [Velazquez]
didn't, either. He said, 'I'm just going to drop him in and school him,
let him get the mud in his face.' And then he said when he reached back
and hit him, he just took off with him. Even if he got beat, I'm glad he
stayed [inside] just so the horse would learn."
Grade 1, $400,000 Champagne on October 5 at Belmont Park] isn't out of
the question. I'll talk to [the owners] and go from there. He can run
three or four times [as a 2-year-old]."
Honor Code completed his seven furlong journey in 1:23.48 and paid $8.50 to win. He is owned by Lane's End Racing and Dell Ridge Farm. His stakes winning mother Serena's Cat is also the dam of G2 American Turf hero Noble Tune.