In his electrifying debut victory after falling 22 lengths back and his
loss by a diminishing neck October 5 in the Grade 1 Foxwoods Champagne,
Honor Code stamped himself one of the most buzz-worthy 2-year-old
runners in the country.
Photo: NYRA / Adam Coglianese
when it came to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Hall of Fame trainer Shug
McGaughey didn't even think about running the 2-year-old son of A.P.
Indy. With a 3-year-old campaign as the prime objective, Honor Code
stayed home in New York to await his first two-turn test in the 99th running of the Grade 2, $400,000 Remsen on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
1 1/8-mile Remsen completes a sterling sequence of four stakes races,
along with the Grade 1, $500,000 Cigar Mile Handicap, the Grade 3,
$400,000 Comely Stakes and the Grade 2, $400,000 Demoiselle Stakes.
was on our radar screen," McGaughey said of a possible run by Honor
Code in the Breeders' Cup. "I didn't want to take a horse out there that
had run two times and run him over that track against horses that had
been jazzed up just for that race. We want to have a nice 3-year-old.
There was never really any discussion about it."
has, however, been plenty of discussion about Honor Code. In his debut
August 31 on a sloppy track at Saratoga, he fell 22 lengths off the pace
after a half-mile in 46 seconds, yet by the end of the seven-furlong
race, he was 4 ½ in front.
In the six other dirt sprints run that day at Saratoga, no winner came from farther than two lengths back.
Code, the 9-5 morning-line favorite for the Remsen, next ran in the
Foxwoods Champagne at Belmont Park. When the gate opened, he dropped
back to last in the field of nine, 11 lengths behind an opening
half-mile in 46.08 seconds. On the turn for home, he fanned eight wide
and then proceeded to vacuum up the lengths between him and winner
Havana only to be beaten by a neck.
Code, owned by Lane's End Racing, drew the No. 4 post position in the
nine-horse Remsen field, and McGaughey said rider Javier Castellano
should benefit from his experience in the Foxwoods Champagne.
rode him great that day, and I think he'll understand him a little
better," said McGaughey, who won the Kentucky Derby this year with Orb.
"That was the first time he had been on him at all.
will be interesting to see him going around two turns, a mile and an
eighth and where he places himself," McGaughey added. "He's done
everything pretty well since the Champagne, and we're looking forward to
running around two turns and stretching him out a little bit and see
where it takes us."
Code's principal rival appears to be Cairo Prince, 2-1 on the morning
line, who enters the Remsen off an authoritative 2 ½-length victory in
the Grade 2 Nashua on November 3 at Aqueduct.
by Kiaran McLaughlin for Namcook Stables, Cairo Prince won his debut as
well, and his running style suggests he will get an early jump on Honor
the Nashua, a one-turn mile, Cairo started on the outside in a 12-horse
field and ran in the clear the entire way, on the outside tracking
dueling leaders in fourth place before opening up at the top of the
stretch and cruising home under a hand ride.
don't think he has to be in the clear; it just happened he drew the 12
[post] and was clear," McLaughlin said. "He hasn't taken dirt in his
face, but he's done everything right, and he's a classy horse. We expect
him to do well in the Remsen."
Moon, 6-1, was bumped hard at the start of the Nashua, when Financial
Mogul veered out into a line of horses. A $200,000 son of Malibu Moon,
Noble Moon dropped back to last place in that race but rallied
powerfully on the outside to finish third, beaten just three lengths.
colt, who showed good speed in his debut, dueling with two others
before winning by three-quarters of a length, drew the rail for the
Todd Pletcher will run an uncoupled entry in the Remsen, with Master
Lightning, 15-1, and Intense Holiday, 8-1, both who were beaten in the
Holiday, a $380,000 son of Harlan's Holiday, finished fourth, beaten 4 ¾
lengths in the Nashua after a wide journey around the turn, and
Pletcher said, "I thought, arguably, he was the second-best horse in the
Master Lightning, Pletcher said, "had a pretty difficult trip in the Nashua and never got into a rhythm."
Afleet Accompli, 20-1; Mental Iceberg, 30-1; Matuszak, 15-1; and Wicked Strong, 8-1, complete the field.