W.S. Farish's Code of Honor resumed serious business on Saturday morning with an easy half-mile move in 50.65 seconds over a fast main track at Belmont Park.
Trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, the homebred chestnut Noble Mission sophomore logged his first serious breeze since being elevated to first in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup following the disqualification of Vino Rosso.
“I thought he looked great,” McGaughey said. “We're just getting him started again and he went off easy, finished up well, galloped out great and came back in good order. So we'll come back next weekend and get a solid work into him.”
McGaughey said he expects to see a stronger work next week out of Code of Honor, who became the veteran conditioner's fourth winner in both the Travers and Jockey Club Gold Cup.
“[Saturday] was just something to get him going again and I'll come back and do more with him next weekend and blow him out and then send him to California and run him,” McGaughey said.
A frontrunner for Champion 3-Year-Old, Code of Honor won the Grade 1 Runhappy Travers en route to a triumph in the Jockey Club Gold Cup against elders. In his second start of the year, he won the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park before running third in the Grade 1 Florida Derby and eventually, was elevated to second in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby after Maximum Security was disqualified.
A victory in the Grade 1, $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic would make Code of Honor the 13th 3-year-old to win the 1 ¼-mile event, which has been won by eventual Champion 3-Year-Olds Arrogate (2016), American Pharoah (2015), Curlin (2007), Tiznow (2000), A.P. Indy (1992) and Sunday Silence (1989) during their respective campaigns.
Bred in Kentucky, Code of Honor is out of the graded stakes winning Dixie Union broodmare Reunited.
McGaughey also spoke of impressive second-level allowance winner Performer stating the chestnut son of Speightstown is targeting the Grade 3, $200,000 Discovery on November 30 at Aqueduct.
“He's been galloping but I'm not in any hurry with him,” McGaughey said.
Owned by Phipps Stable and Claiborne Farm, Performer emerged from a seven-month layoff a winner when breaking his maiden at Belmont Park before securing victories against winners in his next two starts. Bred in Kentucky, Performer is out of the graded stakes placed A.P. Indy broodmare Protesting whose dam On Parade is a full sister to champion Storm Flag Flying.
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