News and STORIES

Code of Honor, Midnight Bisou Work Ahead of Saratoga Events

Author: Don Mckee
Published: Tuesday July 28, 2020
Two-time grade 1 winner Code of Honor breezed a half-mile in :49.04 at 5:30 a.m. ET Monday over the Oklahoma training track. It was his final work in prep for Saturday's Whitney Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course

The 4-year-old chestnut son of Noble Vision is owned by W.S. Farish and trained by Shug McGaughey. He worked under exercise rider Lexi Peaden through fractions of :25 1/5 and :49 and galloped out in 1:01 3/5.

"That's exactly what we wanted. I just wanted him to have a little bit of work, and that's what I asked for him to go in," said McGaughey. "I always breeze him on the Monday before he runs on Saturday. That seems to put him on his game. He's had two good works up here, and he seems to be doing fine."

McGaughey spoke about Peaden's ability to control Code of Honor though the morning training.

"She does a great job on him. She doesn't miss a beat, and I have confidence that he'll go out and do what we want him to do," said McGaughey. "He's a pretty push-button horse. If I put a jock on him, he might go a little bit faster than what I want him to. This way, we'll leave a little something in there."

Code of Honor's Career

During his sophomore season, Code of Honor won the Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) and the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1). He kicked off his 4-year-old campaign with two runs at Belmont Park, where he scored the Westchester Stakes (G3) on June 6 and finished third in the Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap (G1) on July 4. 

Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will take over as rider. Velazquez is a four-time Whitney winner, and Code of Honor will stretch out to nine furlongs in the next edition.

"Johnny knows him well, and he's been in these spots many times. I'm looking forward to running him a mile and an eighth over this track," said McGaughey.

Velazquez has won the Whitney with Left Bank (2002), Lawyer Ron (2007), Commentator (2008), and Cross Traffic (2013). McGaughey won editions of the Whitney with Personal Ensign (1988), Easy Goer (1989), and Honor Code (2015). 

Other probable contenders for the Whitney include By My Standards (Bret Calhoun), Improbable (Bob Baffert), Mr. Buff (John Kimmel), Owendale (Brad Cox), and Tom's d'Etat (Al Stall Jr.).

"The short field doesn't bother me. He's had short fields, deep fields, it doesn't matter, but I'd like to get some pace," said McGaughey.

Code of Honor is looking to become the first horse to win the Travers and the Whitney since 2002-03 when the pair of events was taken by Medaglia d'Oro. 

Midnight Bisou

Midnight Bisou worked a half-mile in preparation for the Personal Ensign Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1), where she will defend her title. 

Bloom Racing Stable, Madaket Stables, and Allen Racing's champion older dirt female went solo over the Oklahoma training track. She opened up in :25 1/5 and hit a half-mile in :50.55. 

The 5-year-old Midnight Lute mare trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmuessen has taken all 13 of her career victories in graded events. 

She began her campaign with a second-place effort in the inaugural Saudi Cup and is going into the Aug. 1 nine-furlong event following an 8 1/4-length win in the Fleur de Lis Stakes (G2) June 27 at Churchill Downs. 

The probable field for the Personal Ensign includes Abounding Joy (Rodolphe Brisset), Motion Emotion (Richard Baltas), Point of Honor (George Weaver), and Vexatious (Jack Sisterson). 

Midnight Bisou will be joined by rider Ricardo Santana Jr.