Honor Code's Honor Marie Pounces to Victory in Kentucky Jockey Club

Honor Marie (far left, orange) Coady

Alan Ribble's Honor Marie (Honor Code) became the first graded stakes winner for trainer Whit Beckman after pulling off an 8-1 upset in Saturday evening's GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. at Churchill Downs.

Honor Marie earned 10 points as part of the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series, which offered points on a scale of 10-5-3-2-1 to the top five finishers.

“He's a very nice horse and we were confident with his pedigree, and the way he trained, he'd enjoy longer distances,” said Beckman, a former assistant to trainers Todd Pletcher and Chad Brown. “It's very exciting to have a horse like this and win our first graded stakes with him. We'll probably take him down to Fair Grounds after this. They have a good program for 3-year-olds.”

Honor Marie, a $40,000 KEESEP yearling, was a narrow debut winner of an auction-restricted maiden special weight at Churchill Downs Sept. 29. He was a well-beaten second to Otto the Conqueror (Street Sense) in a first-level optional claimer in the slop at Churchill Downs Oct. 29. Honor Marie was making his two-turn debut in the Kentucky Jockey Club.

Honor Marie trailed the field of eight as three of them duked it out through fractions of :23.70 and :48.45. Honor Marie began to make his move on the far turn, was swung out six wide leaving the quarter pole and came charging down the center to score by two lengths over Real Men Violin (Mendelssohn), a maiden winner at fifth asking for Ken McPeek last out Oct. 29.

Previously unbeaten Stretch Ride (Street Sense) was third.

“I was thinking the two turns would help out,” winning jockey Rafael Bejarano said. “He came with a big run. In his last start, he ran OK, but that was seven furlongs. I was more confident with him going two turns today.”

Pedigree Notes:

Honor Marie becomes the seventh graded/group winner for Honor Code, who will stand the 2024 breeding season at Yushun Stallion Station in Japan after beginning his career at stud at Lane's End Farm. Broodmare sire Smart Strike is now responsible for 74 graded/group winners.

Dame Marie, second in the 2014 GII Churchill Distaff Turf Mile S. and a half-sister to G1 Betfair.com St. Leger winner and G1 Vodafone Epsom Derby runner-up Rule of Law (Kingmambo), is also responsible for a Medaglia d'Oro filly of 2022. She brought $385,000 from Fergus Galvin, agent, at this summer's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale. Dame Marie was bred to Mandaloun for 2024.

Saturday, Churchill Downs
KENTUCKY JOCKEY CLUB S.-GII, $400,000, Churchill Downs, 11-25, 2yo, 1 1/16m, 1:44.31, ft.
1–HONOR MARIE, 122, c, 2, by Honor Code
                1st Dam: Dame Marie (GSP, $241,291), by Smart Strike
                2nd Dam: Crystal Crossing (Ire), by Royal Academy
                3rd Dam: Never So Fair (GB), by Never So Bold (Ire)
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($40,000 Ylg '22 KEESEP). O-Ribble Farms LLC; B-Royce Pulliam (KY); T-D. Whitworth Beckman; J-Rafael Bejarano. $240,455. Lifetime Record: 3-2-1-0, $318,175. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Real Men Violin, 122, c, 2, Mendelssohn–Meg Fitz, by Tapit. 1ST BLACK TYPE, 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($110,000 Ylg '22 KEESEP). O-Tilted Shamrock Stables; B-Newtownanner Stud Farm (KY); T-Kenneth G. McPeek. $78,050.
3–Stretch Ride, 122, c, 2, Street Sense–Q Go Girl, by Quality Road. 1ST BLACK TYPE, 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($5,000 Ylg '22 FTKOCT; €100,000 2yo '23 ARQMAY). O-West Point Thoroughbreds; B-Jackpot Farm (KY); T-Dale L. Romans. $39,025.
Margins: 2, 1, 5 3/4. Odds: 8.81, 5.20, 4.09.
Also Ran: Risk It, Awesome Road, Dancing Groom, One Red Cent, Nomos.
Click for the Equibase.com chart and the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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