Whatever it was that startled Maximum Security (New Year's Day) in the Derby also startled Code of Honor (Noble Mission), said trainer Shug McGaughey, who sat down with the TDN's Patty Wolfe to give an update on the Derby runner-up.
“Johnny (Velasquez) jumped off him said Maximum Security bolted, and he said whatever he saw, Code of Honor saw, too. He said he kind of did like this,” said McGaughey, making a startled motion. “And then he said, `I had a hard time getting him going again.' I said, `well, what did they see?' and he said, `I don't know what they saw, but they saw something.'” McGaughey debunked the theory that it was the photographer off the inside rail, as some people had speculated. “I can tell you one thing: it wasn't the little red man behind the pole. I can tell you that right now.”
McGaughey said that Code of Honor had joined the stable at Belmont and will be pointed towards a summer campaign.
“He's doing excellent. He's not even the same horse today that he was when he ran in the Derby. So we're really looking forward to a summer campaign for him. That was what I had in my mind and that was perfect for Mr. Farish. If everything goes perfect, we're going to start him in the Dwyer on July 6 and then hopefully, we can use the Saratoga races when they come along and see where it takes us from there.”
Watch the entire interview below.