Feb. 27, 2014
Nancy Ury-Holthus, firstname.lastname@example.org, (501) 623-4411 ex. 496
Jennifer Hoyt, email@example.com (501) 623-4411 ex. 497
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Honor Code Remains on Target for Rebel
Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, who won his first Kentucky Derby last year with Orb, would relish another triumph on the first Saturday in May and he’s got a prime contender in Honor Code. The highly-anticipated three-year-old debut of the graded stakes winner is likely to be in Hot Springs in two weeks.
McGaughey, currently based in South Florida, said on Thursday that he plans to send the son of A.P. Indy out onto the track at Gulfstream Park for another work on Sunday or Monday and then will make the final decision to run him in the $600,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park March 15. McGaughey went on to say that should Honor Code run well in the Rebel, the promising colt will likely return to Hot Springs for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) on April 12.
At this stage along the Triple Crown trail for Honor Code and McGaughey, it’s more about the points than the purses.
Honor Code, who has not started since winning the Remsen Stakes (G2) impressively on November 30, was sidelined after stressing his hind ankles while working at Payson Park in South Florida on January 18 and missed three weeks of training. He currently stands in ninth place on the Derby entry points list with 14.
Now that the Derby qualifying races including the Rebel have moved to the championship series, points up for grabs are 50-20-10-5 for finishes from first through fourth.
McGaughey moved Honor Code to Gulfstream to keep closer watch on him and the handsome dark bay colt was back on the work tab on February 12, 19 and 25. In his last breeze, he traveled an easy half-mile in 52.23 seconds.
“It was a little slower than I wanted, but it was fine,” McGaughey told the Daily Racing Form “It was really a five-eighths work from the half-mile pole, and my rider said he was really best after the wire. He galloped out real strong. I think I’ll come back and work him with some company on Sunday or Monday. I didn’t want to go too quick this morning, but I’ll pick it up with him this weekend.”
McGaughey said that although Honor Code missed valuable training time, he believes the Lane’s End Racing and Dell Ridge Farm’s color bearer is fit and hasn't lost much conditioning.