News and STORIES

Code of Honor Back on Work Tab

Author: Don Mckee
Published: Tuesday April 21, 2020
Grade 1 winner Code of Honor returned to the work tab on April 19. It was his first work since beginning to train again with Shug McGaughey, and he breezed three furlongs in :38 2/5 at Payson Park near Indiantown, Fla. 

First Work

"Code of Honor, it was his first work since he came back, and he went nice and easy just like he normally does. We had no complaints," said Robbie Medina, McGaughey's assistant trainer. 

After closing out his sophomore campaign, Code of Honor was given a freshener at Margaux Farm. At the beginning of February, he completed his layup and had a full wellness checkup by Dr. Larry Bramlage. Following that check, he was given the go-ahead to resume light training. 

The son of Noble Mission won the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) and went on to finish third in the Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1). He also took second in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1).

Following the race at Churchill Downs, Code of Honor took three consecutive victories, which came in the Dwyer Stakes (G3), Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1), and the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (G1). To close out the year, he finished off-the-board in the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic (G1).

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of many tracks around North America, there is no specific target race for Code of Honor.

"Obviously, we don't have anything picked out for him, but he will be ready when there is more clarity going forward," said Medina. 

Performer and Creed

McGaughey's Discovery Stakes (G3) winner Performer also worked. The 4-year-old son of Speightstown worked throughout the winter to prepare for his 2020 campaign. He recorded four furlongs in :49 2/5 over the dirt at Payson, which was the second-fastest out of 30 that worked at the distance. 

"Performer, he's ready to run," said Medina. "Obviously, he was being pointed toward the Carter Handicap (G1). We skipped the work with him last week because there was nowhere to go but he worked very, very well yesterday. He's had an awesome winter of training, and he's a very talented horse." 

Performer was bred in Kentucky by Phipps Stable and took third in his debut at Aqueduct Racetrack at 2. However, he returned strongly and broke his maiden at Belmont Park, followed by a pair of allowance victories in New York. He then went on to win the Discovery. 

There is a set of 40 horses that are training for McGaughey at Payson Park, and he has seven more stabled at Gulfstream Park. 

One of his first-time starters is Creed, a son of Honor Code who is set to make his debut April 22 in a maiden special weight at Tampa Bay Downs. 

Creed, a 2-year-old, was bred in Kentucky by G. Watts Humphrey Jr. & W.S. Farish. He will make his first start on April 22 for owners Edward Hudson, Jr. and Lynne Hudson. He worked three furlongs in :39 flat on April 19 before heading to Tampa. 

"Creed will still go on Wednesday to Tampa Bay. He's pretty nice, and he looks a lot like Honor Code," said Medina. "He's a flashy-looking horse, and he's been doing good. He looks like he has ability, so we're looking forward to seeing him run."

Medina spoke about the uncertainty and limited options for horses. 

"We would have loved to have run Performer in the Carter, and we had Pink Sands ready to run in the Madison (G1) at Keeneland, but we really can't complain," said Medina. "We have our health, and that is the most important thing. 

"It would have been hard to ship up to New York and then be up there with no racing. Where our horses are now, like Creed, we can get a race into them and help get them started."