TDN Top Triple Crown Contenders

Honor A.P.

4) HONOR A.P. (r, Honor CodeHollywood Story, by Wild Rush O-C R K Stable LLC. B-George Krikorian (KY). T-John Shirreffs. Sales History: $850,000 yrl ’18 FTSAUG. Lifetime Record: GISW, 6-2-3-0, $532,200.

Honor A.P. was never in it to win it last Saturday. Yet considering how tactically adrift he was for the first mile of the race, his fourth-place effort is better than it might seem. “He spun out from the word go. Really did,” said jockey Mike Smith, who cited this $850,000 FTSAUG Honor Code ridgling’s inability to grab hold of the “deeper, cuppier” track as the chief obstacle to a better placing. He broke hesitantly and was allowed to lag near last for most of the trip before unwinding with a long-striding move through the far turn that left him parked way out in the 10 path for the home straight. But he didn’t pass a single horse in mid-stretch who was not already backing up. Honor A.P.’s Derby has a “too bad to be true” aura to it, and as the only horse to ever finish in front of Authentic (in the GI Santa Anita Derby), it’s reasonable to think he’s capable of a more spirited showing if and when they meet again.