John Shirreffs

Honor A. P. To Lane’s End Upon Retirement

Honor A. P. (Honor Code--Hollywood Story, by Wild Rush) will be retired to Lane's End Farm upon the conclusion of his racing career, the farm announced Friday. The 3-year-old is from the first crop by his sire, who also stands at Lane's End, and is his highest earner. Honor A. P. has finished first or second in each of his four starts, winning the GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby in his last outing June 6, and establishing himself as a favorite for the Sept. 5 GI Kentucky Derby. "He's a...

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Honor A.P. Cracks the Genetic Code

If someone new to our business asked you to pick a single race in 2015 that might explain the passion that consumes us, you probably wouldn't pick the processional exhibitions of a first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. You'd show them the GI Whitney S. In a summer when hardly anyone will be able to renew the Saratoga pilgrimage, you may find the jolt of nostalgia too poignant to revisit the video yourself. But gosh, that was a horserace. Liam's Map (Unbridled's Song), flying just that fraction too close...

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John Shirreffs Talks Honor A. P., Zenyatta On TDN Writers’ Room

It's not every year that John Shirreffs, a patient trainer with a small stable of mostly older horses, has a GI Kentucky Derby contender. In fact, the last time most remember him being in the spotlight was with a certain mare named Zenyatta (Street Cry {Ire}), four-time champion and arguably the most popular horse of the 21st century. But with newly-minted Grade I winner Honor A. P. (Honor Code) looking like a leading challenger for the Run for the Roses, Shirreffs joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland Wednesday...

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TDN Writers’ Room with John Shirreffs

Trainer John Shirreffs joins this week's TDN Writers' Room to discuss his recent GI Santa Anita Derby winner and Triple Crown hopeful Honor A.P., as well as a special three-year-old filly named Zellda, the daughter of champion and Hall of Famer Zenyatta.

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Honor A. P. No Worse for Wear Following Breakout Santa Anita Derby Score

C R K Stable LLC's Honor A. P. (Honor Code) appeared no worse for wear Sunday morning after making the grade and stamping himself as a top GI Kentucky Derby contender with a decisive win in the GI Santa Anita Derby. "He looks good this morning," trainer Shirreffs said. "It's always a surprise when they run like he ran, because no matter how they look in the mornings or how they're training, they have to perform in the afternoon. "It was very gratifying to see him run that well... It...

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Honor Code’s Honor A.P. Equal To Task in Santa Anita Derby

Honor A. P. (Honor Code) launched into action four wide into the stretch and powered home a dominating winner of Saturday's rescheduled GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby. After missing some time with a foot bruise earlier this year, the handsome dark bay made his belated sophomore debut in the GII San Felipe S. Mar. 7, and ran a big one in defeat after making a strong middle move to chase home loose-on-lead wire-to-wire winner Authentic (Into Mischief). Off as the 2-1 second choice to that re-opposing undefeated foe, Honor A....

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Six Go for Gold

The late-blooming 5-year-old Midcourt (Midnight Lute) will look to record his first win at the highest level in Saturday's GI Hollywood Gold Cup. The authoritative 2019 GIII Native Diver S. and 2020 GII San Pasqual S. winner was a close third as the 3-5 favorite when last seen going this same 1 1/4-mile distance in the GI Santa Anita H. Mar. 7. Trainer John Shirreffs takes off the blinkers for this. Higher Power (Medaglia d'Oro), fifth in this race last year, broke through in a big way with a dominating...

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Santa Anita Derby Showdown

West Coast heavyweights Authentic (Into Mischief) and Honor A.P. (Honor Code) meet for round two in a highly anticipated renewal of Saturday's GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby. Authentic made it a perfect three-for-three for Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, posting a powerful 2 1/4-length wire-to-wire decision over Honor A.P. in the GII San Felipe S. Mar. 7. He previously aired by 7 3/4 lengths over stablemate Azul Coast (Super Saver), a next out winner of the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Feb. 15, in the GIII Sham S....

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Ce Ce Rides Hot Hand Into Santa Maria

A highly anticipated rematch of the GI Beholder Mile S. is on tap in Sunday's GII Santa Maria S. at Santa Anita. Ce Ce (Elusive Quality), an impressive 3 1/4-length breakthrough winner over 'TDN Rising Star' Hard Not to Love (Hard Spun) in that affair Mar. 14, just got up in time by a head after a very wide trip in a loaded renewal of Oaklawn's GI Apple Blossom H. last time Apr. 18. Also previously under consideration for Belmont's GI Ogden Phipps S. June 13, Ce Ce looks for...

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Strength and Honor

As Honor A. P. (Honor Code) was gearing up for his career debut at Del Mar last summer, owner Lee Searing had some fun with trainer John Shirreffs while inquiring about a potential rider for his stunning $850,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling acquisition. "I asked John, it wasn't like I didn't know, and said, 'Who are you going to be putting on this big horse,'" Searing said of the veteran conditioner widely known for playing his cards close to his vest. "He said, 'Well, I don't know Lee.' As we got...

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Hard Not to Love Gets Two-Turn Test in Beholder Mile

Budding distaff division star Hard Not to Love (Hard Spun), a winner of three straight and five of six in her young career, will try two turns for the first time as a probable heavy favorite in Saturday's GI Beholder Mile S. at Santa Anita. Starting two-for-two here last year, the $400,000 Keeneland September grad suffered her only defeat when third in the Angels Flight S. May 4. Returning off the bench to capture a local allowance Oct. 25, the 'TDN Rising Star' closed from last to post an 11-1...

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Hard Not to Love Finds No ‘Peers’ in Santa Monica

'TDN Rising Star' Hard Not to Love was last seen blowing away her competition at 11-1 odds in the GI La Brea S. over this same track and trip Dec. 28, but she likely won't be going off at double digits for awhile, especially after her latest performance. Reined back to last by Mike Smith in a compact field of five, the bay sat perched out wide and within striking distance as the rest of her foes scrambled for position through a :23.04 opening quarter. The favorite began her sweeping...

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