To Honor and Serve put on a quite the display, November 26, 2011, when he rolled clear of the classy Calibrachoa. The son of Bernardini has been a puzzling this season, to say the least. After his two year old season, he had built up such a reputation that he was made the favorite of the Fountain of Youth Stakes, his three year old debut.
He lost that and his next two starts.
Then, just when he had everyone believing that he had been nothing more than a talented juvenile unable to mature at three, he comes back with a rousing allowance victory. It was brilliant and the time over the tiring Saratoga strip was nothing short of exceptional. He came back, next, in the Pennsylvania Derby, in stakes record breaking fashion. They hype was back, but was soon sliced when the colt failed to threaten in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Trainer Bill Mott, undeterred by the 7th place finish, decided to wheel To Honor and Serve back off of only three weeks rest, to run in the Cigar Mile, yesterday. There were questions again, can he pass when faced with quality horses, and is he really top flight? With his performance yesterday To Honor and Serve answered a lot of questions, but he also added one more…Is he just an Aqueduct freak?
To Honor and Serve, based off of his past performances seems to be an Aqueduct version of Quality Road, and who was not just a Gulfstream specialist but a Gulfstream monster. At Aqueduct, To Honor and Serve is top flight, he can pass classy speed horses, he can do anything a great horse is supposed to do.
His win in the Cigar Mile was brilliant, spectacular, awesome, any superlative you can think of, but coming 2012 I want to see him do the same outside of his favorite track. I know he has run big at other tracks, Saratoga and Parx, but I have to point out that he was not facing top flight horses in either start. I want to see him leave me speechless away from home. If he can do that he’s the real deal.