Social Inclusion Upsets Honor Code’s 2014 Debut

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Sociial Inclusion Sociial Inclusion

A serious Derby prospect was expected to emerge from Wednesday’s eighth race at Gulfstream Park, and that indeed turned out to be the case.

While the bettors fully expected Honor Code, their 1-2 favorite, to prevail victorious from the 1 1/16-mile $75,000 allowance race for 3-year-olds, Social Inclusion distinguished himself as a hot prospect for the Triple Crown and possibly the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park on March 29.

The Manny Azpurua-trained Social Inclusion never let Honor Code in the game while blazing around the Gulfstream track by himself and pulling away to a 10-length decision in the track-record time of 1:40.97 under jockey Luis Contreras.

“He was doing it so easy. I wasn’t doing anything. He’s a tremendous horse,” said Contreras, who hand rode Social Inclusion, the 7-5 second choice, across the finish line.

The son of Pioneerof Nile was making only his second lifetime start, following up a 7 ½-length maiden victory on Feb. 22 in spectacular fashion by eclipsing the track record of 1:41 set by Devil’s Cave on Feb. 16.

“From the first time we trained him, we knew he was something special,” said owner Ron Sanchez of Rontos Racing Stable Corp. “The next step, we’re going to wait and see how he comes out of the race. We’ll take our time. We’ll wait until next week and decide, but we definitely want to go to the (Kentucky) Derby.”

The 85-year-old Azpurua, a South Florida mainstay, declined to commit to a next start, but expressed a belief that the Kentucky-bred colt will only get better with each start.

“I really like this horse and I like everything he’s done since I’ve got him. I’m so pleased with him and I believe he’s going to keep improving,” Azpurua said. “I told my wife before the race, ‘You’re going to see him break out of the gate and they’re never going to catch him. They’ll be 10 lengths behind.’”

Shug McGaughey-trained Honor Code, making his first start since winning the Remsen Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct last November, finished second, exactly 10 lengths behind the winner and 17 ½ lengths ahead of third-place finisher We’re All Set.

“I knew how the race was going to set up. (Social Inclusion) had speed and he had two 35(second works) since he ran, so I knew he would go. The track was really fast this morning, and horses ran 1:08-and-change earlier in the day,” McGaughey said. “I’m disappointed he didn’t win, but we got a race into him and I don’t think (jockey Javier Castellano) killed him by any means. We’ll see if he goes forward off of this. I think the horse that won in a very, very special horse.”

Castellano was hardly downcast after the defeat of Honor Code, whose training had been interrupted by bruised ankles in January before moving from Payson Park to Gulfstream to resume training.

“The track had been playing pretty fast. It’s hard to catch up to the horses that go out on the lead. With a small field, sometimes it’s hard with my horse’s style he likes to come from behind. I had to use him a little bit to be tactical and he responded,” said Castellano, who rode five winners Wednesday to eclipse his own Gulfstream season record of 112 wins. “I’m very fortunate with the way he did it today. It was a good performance. Unfortunately we got beat. But I like to look at the big picture – his season is just starting and I’m pleased with the way he came back.”

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  • Lefty_Orioles_Fan

    Shuggy Baby….. I think the horse that won in a very, very special horse.”

    Social Inclusion is a good horse. I was looking over his stats briefly and not only did he win his first race back in Feb 2014, but he was only like a second off the track record held by Big Drama since 2011. I have no idea as to why Shuggy Baby wanted to race this particular horse, much less if Social Inclusion has enough stuff to get a mile and quarter. However, he seems legit to me and Honor Code has some work to do. Maybe, Honor Code’s best race will be his first when he came out of the clouds to win. Either that or he needs Johnny Velazquez riding him. Although, Pat Day could have been riding HC and I don’t think it would have made a bit of difference. SC looks to be for real.

  • Glimmerglass

    Per a tweet from Jay Privman – that was good for a 111-Beyer Speed Fig (prelim) with Social Inclusion’s track record in the allowance race. That $60k Keeneland purchase certainly has brought (and will continue to) smiles to his connections. Honor Code wasn’t easy to load, didn’t have much enthusiasm, and despite the reasonable pace just didn’t care much for running on Hump Day. Likely a toss out effort, but I’d have a lot of reservations with sending him to the Florida Derby off that race.

  • jttf

    social inclusion did not run with lasix until today. let these horses mature without it. orb, point of entry and hymn book have gotten shug back into the spotlight. they didnt receive lasix until they were three years old.

  • Glimmerglass

    As expected Ron Sanchez’s phone rang afterwards with plenty of congrats and offers to buy. From the DRF’s Mike Welch he received an offer of $5 million for 75% of the horse. Off that win SI’s odds (at Wynn Vegas) have now dropped from 300/1 to 50/1 with the KY Derby.

  • we’re watching

    I love Shug, always have. But A, he never tries to win with his horses first time out, or B with a nice stakes horse, first time out off of the shelf. This is no historical surprise.
    Next time.

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