Code of Honor Makes Seasonal Bow in Westchester

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Code of Honor | Horsephotos

Dual Grade I winner Code of Honor (Noble Mission {GB}) makes his first start as an older horse Saturday in Belmont’s GIII Westchester S. Victor of the GII Fountain of Youth S. last term, the Farish homebred captured the GIII Dwyer S. going a mile over this strip last summer and followed suit with a decisive score in the GI Runhappy Travers S. in August. Crossing the line a nose short of Vino Rosso (Curlin) in this venue’s GI Jockey Club Gold Cup S. Sept. 28, the chestnut was promoted to first after the winner was DQ’d for interference in the lane. Code of Honor was seventh to that Eclipse-winning rival when last seen in the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Nov. 2.

“I liked the distance for him. I think one of his best races last year was the Dwyer going one mile,” McGaughey told the NYRA notes team. “It’s just about getting him started. We’re in it to win but as long as we can get a good effort out of him where we can move forward, we’ll be happy, too.”

Endorsed (Medaglia d’Oro) takes another crack at stakes company in his second start for Hall of Famer Bill Mott. Fourth in Code of Honor’s Travers, the Godolphin homebred was shelved following that start and resurfaced with a good-looking optional claimer win at Gulfstream Jan. 11. He was fifth when shipped west for the GI Santa Anita H. Mar. 7 and was transferred from the now-retired Kiaran McLaughlin to Mott. The bay rallied from well back to win an Oaklawn optional claimer in his first start for his new barn May 2.

Chad Brown saddles a pair with a good chance in Monongahela (K One King) and Payne (Paynter). Monongahela was transferred to Brown earlier this term after the indictment of his previous trainer Jason Servis and makes his first start for the Eclipse-winning conditioner in this test. He won Monmouth’s GIII Phillip H. Iselin S. and Penn National’s Swatara S. last term and concluded his tenure with the Servis barn with a near miss in the John B. Campbell S. at Laurel last time Feb. 15. His stablemate Payne enters off a three-race win streak in allowance company, most recently triumphing by 9 3/4 lengths in an Aqueduct optional claimer Mar. 13.

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