William S. Farish's Code of Honor, one of the leading contenders for the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), worked a half-mile in :49 over a fast track Friday morning at Keeneland.
Working at 6:15 a.m. before drenching rain turned the track muddy, Code of Honor completed his final quarter-mile in :23.20 and galloped out 5 furlongs in 1:00.80.
“He looked good,” trainer Shug McGaughey said. “I was pleased with the way he went off and he galloped out well. I was excited about it.”
The work was the first for Code of Honor since finishing third in the Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) on March 30 at Gulfstream Park. Prior to that, Code of Honor won the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth (G2), also at Gulfstream.
“I will probably have Johnny (Velazquez) work him in seven or eight days and then have his final work at Churchill,” said McGaughey, who won the 2013 Kentucky Derby with Orb.
Prior to his appearance at Keeneland midway through Friday morning training hours, trainer Brendan Walsh was at Churchill Downs to watch his Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) candidate Plus Que Parfait jog on the track in his first exercise under saddle since returning from Dubai.
On March 30 at Meydan, Plus Que Parfait won the $2.5 million UAE Derby Sponsored by Saeed and Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (G2) for owner Imperial Racing. The victory means the son of Point of Entry has a guaranteed spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate with 104 qualifying points.
“He got in to Churchill last night,” Walsh said about Plus Que Parfait. “He had a little jog this morning to gradually get him back in training. He is going to have to really come back in good shape (to run in the Derby.) He has the right mentality for the Derby; nothing really bothers him. We saw that with the way he handled everything in Dubai. That was a good experience for him to learn from.”
Plus Que Parfait spent extra time in Dubai before embarking on his return to America.
“That gives horses a chance to recuperate, put some weight back on and rehydrate,” Walsh said.
Walsh said Derby plans are contingent on how well Plus Que Parfait bounces back from his most recent race.
“The next week to 10 days will be very important,” he said “If he is not (100%) we will rethink his (next start).”
Plans call for Plus Que Parfait to jog again Saturday with a possible gallop on Sunday and daily gallops thereafter. If he shows good energy, Walsh said Plus Que Parfait will have an easy half-mile breeze April 19 or 20.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2019 Paulick Report.