Code of Honor to Return in Westchester

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Code of Honor | Sarah Andrew

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Code of Honor (Noble Mission {GB}), an Eclipse Award finalist for champion 3-year-old male in 2019, is targeting the GIII Westchester S. for his return on opening weekend at Belmont Park June 6.

The dominating GI Runhappy Travers S. hero has post five workouts at Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey’s Payson Park base in Florida this spring dating back to mid-April. He is currently in training with McGaughey at Belmont Park.

“He went five-eighths in 1:01 and change the other day [at Payson May 17],” McGaughey said.

“He was a young 3-year-old–we gave him some time off and he’s grown up now. I’m pleased with the way he’s doing, how he looks and the way he’s trained. He got to New York in good shape and I’m looking forward to getting him going.”

The W.S. Farish homebred was placed first via disqualification over Vino Rosso (Curlin) in a controversial renewal of the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup S. at Belmont Sept. 28. He was last seen finishing a well-beaten seventh behind that rival in the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Nov. 2.

“I don’t think he liked it,” McGaughey said of the Santa Anita surface. “I was very disappointed in the track out there. I’m not saying that or making excuses because we got beat by any means. The best horse won and hat’s off to him.”

Code of Honor’s sophomore campaign also included wins in the GII Xpressbet Fountain of Youth S. at Gulfstream and GIII Dwyer S. at Belmont. He was elevated to second after crossing the line third following the disqualification of Maximum Security (New Year’s Day) in the GI Kentucky Derby.

McGaughey added that Code of Honor will target either the GI Runhappy Metropolitan Mile S. or GII Suburban H. at 1 1/4 miles later this summer. Both races are slated for Belmont’s loaded July 4 program.

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