Kentucky Derby 2020 Radar: Honor A. P. has a new target

Kentucky Derby 2020 Radar: Honor A. P. has a new target
Photo: Benoit

Honor A. P. Is just a maiden winner, hasn’t raced since October and will have to come off the bench in a major 2020 Kentucky Derby prep if he’s to qualify on points. Yet the colt is 14-1 in Las Vegas to win the Derby, carrying high hopes into the spring.

Finally, we know what’s next.

Trainer John Shirreffs shared in Santa Anita Park’s stable notes that the son of Honor Code is officially targeting the March 7 San Felipe Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park. Honor A. P. tuned up for the 1 1/16-mile race by breezing five furlongs Saturday in 1:00.80 with Mike Smith aboard.

“He was scheduled to work Sunday, but we moved it up a day because there was rain in the forecast,” Shirreffs said. “We’ll try and make the San Felipe.”

One of two points races left at Santa Anita, the San Felipe pays out on a 50-20-10-5 scale. It precedes the April 4 Santa Anita Derby (G1), a 100-40-20-10 race. Should Honor A. P. win the San Felipe or place in the Santa Anita Derby, he’s likely on to Churchill Downs.

Shirreffs has spoken glowingly of the C R K Stable runner but handled him patiently since Honor A. P. stretched out to a mile and broke his maiden with ease back on Oct. 13.

In a recent “Shedrow Stroll” with XBTV’s Zoe Cadman, the trainer said, “This is a very big, strong 3-year-old that just never touches the ground when he hits the ground. He’s just so light on his feet.”

Later, Shirreffs added: “Quality — there’s a lot of quality there.”

Honor A. P. was considered for the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) in December before ultimately pointed to the Jan. 4 Sham Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita. A minor injury to his right-front foot on race week counted the colt out of that prep.

This time of year, allowances for 3-year-olds rarely fill in southern California — hence why Bob Baffert’s sending debut winner Nadal in Sunday’s San Vicente Stakes (G2) — which means it’s straight on to the Derby trail for Honor A. P.

2020 San Felipe Stakes (G2)

About the Derby Radar

Back for the 2020 Kentucky Derby trail, Horse Racing Nation's Derby Radar seeks to identify promising maiden, allowance and even stakes winners who could target points-paying preps down the line. We'll cover the buzz horses, of course, then using a systematic approach based on past years' Derby contenders identify other talented colts moving up the ladder.

Did we miss one? Email editor Jonathan Lintner (jlintner@horseracingnation.com) if you know of a horse that should be on the radar.


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