Code Of Honor Ran ‘Pretty Game’; Hennig ‘Confident Going Forward’ With Bourbon War

by | 03.31.2019 | 3:16pm
Code of Honor was working at Payson Park but has now moved to Keeneland

Code of Honor raced well off the slow pace of the Florida Derby before closing to finish third behind Maximum Security. The 3-year-old son of Noble Mission came out of the race fine, said trainer Shug McGaughey.

“I thought he ran fine. That's not the type of race he needs with one horse on the lead and everybody taking back. We were kind of in between horses. He had half a racetrack on him. I thought it was pretty game what he did considering the circumstances,” McGaughey said.

McGaughey hasn't firmed up plans for Code of Honor, who is currently stabled at Payson Park.

Trainer Mark Hennig reported Fountain of Youth runner-up Bourbon War was “bright, very happy and sound” Sunday morning following his fourth-place finish in the Florida Derby. The late-running Bourbon War trailed all but two horses through a half-mile while racing wide and passed horses late to wind up beaten 7 ½ lengths, three-quarters of a length behind Code of Honor in third.

“He's doing great,” Hennig said. “I don't think there's any doubt [the pace] had a large impact on us at least not being third, for sure. I'm not saying we were going to win the race or anything, but I'd like to think with a little pace we could have been a little closer. And a little better trip, too, [instead of] having to go around the whole way. If you look at his trip versus Code of Honor's, I think that made a big difference.”

Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable's Bourbon War currently stands 15th with 31 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby, pending the outcome of April 6 preps in California, Kentucky and New York. Hennig said the Tapit colt will be pointed to the first Saturday in May.

“We'd love to be able to get into the Kentucky Derby on points. If we [have enough] points we'd be confident going forward because he's a horse you'd like to think leaving here would be good for him to get off a track where it's hard to close,” Hennig said.

“Right now we don't know what that status is,” he added. “It doesn't look great, but we're just going to stand pat and watch how the races run next weekend in the Santa Anita Derby, Blue Grass and Wood and see where the points stand after that. I think it'll help indicate to us a little more about where we are.”

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