With Every Race, Greatest Honour Grows Into His Form and His Heritage


Greatest Honour | Coglianese


Greatest Honour (Tapit-Tiffany's Honour, by Street Cry {Ire}) has done everything perfectly in South Florida this winter. Coming off of three straight wins at Gulfstream Park, including the GIII Holy Bull S., and the GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S., Greatest Honour is headed to the GI Curlin Florida Derby this weekend and likely to be the heavy favorite.

In each of his last three victories, Greatest Honour has executed a confident late surge, mowing down his competition in the stretch. The extra sixteenth of a mile in the Florida Derby should only favor his running style.

“His pedigree, it says long. His mother's out of Better Than Honour. Better Than Honour had two Belmont winners, Rags to Riches and Jazil. At Gulfstream this winter, being able to come from behind and beat some pretty nice horses on a speed favored race track with a short stretch has been pretty impressive,” said Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey. “I'm looking forward to getting him to the Florida Derby at a mile and an eighth and being able to sort of let him run his race instead of maybe forcing him to run his race a little bit.”

Not only is Greatest Honour royally bred for going the distance, he looks the part of a Classic winner.

“He's always been a very large horse. He needs some time still to kind of grow into himself. He's very athletic,” said McGaughey. “That's one of the things I'm kind of proud of him about is that with his size and his pedigree, that he made it to the races as early as he did. At Saratoga when he ran two really nice races going seven-eighths of a mile. I think that sort of set him up for what he's doing now.”

On Sunday, in his final work before Saturday's test, Greatest Honour satisfied his conditioner working his standard four furlongs in :50.4.

“He doesn't work fast. He's never been a good workhorse, but he gets enough out of what he does in the mornings and he gets enough out of his works to keep me satisfied,” said McGaughey. “He's not a horse that needs to go fast. From the mental aspect, I don't really want him to go fast. He goes a half in :50 here. That's what his process has been really all winter. I think that is what probably will continue.”

With his powerful late kick in the Fountain of Youth and the Holy Bull, Greatest Honour earned 60 points, guaranteeing him a spot in the GI Kentucky Derby. As long as things stay on track for the Courtlandt Farm homebred, the 1 1/4-mile distance should benefit a horse like him.

“The Kentucky Derby is really kind of won on that Saturday because there's so much going on,” said McGaughey. “Derby week is not real easy, you know, because of all the activity. I think he's the kind of horse that can handle all that. I think 1 1/4 miles is going to suit him even better than a 1 1/8 miles, especially the long stretch at Churchill.”

The Florida Derby will not be short of well-bred strong contenders to challenge the favorite. At this stage of the season, we haven't seen the best from most of these colts and one has bested Greatest Honour before.

“Saffie Joseph's Collaborator (Into Mischief) is a nice horse. Todd [Pletcher]'s got a horse called Known Agenda (Curlin) in there that beat Greatest Honor in a maiden race at Aqueduct just by a head, so he'll be a formidable foe,” said McGaughey. “I think we're going over with the right horse. If we have a good Sunday to Saturday, then I think he should go there, run his race. If that's good enough, that's good enough. We're looking forward to running him. We'll see what happens.”

Greatest Honour is the first colt of this caliber for multiple graded stakes winning breeder/owners Don and Donna Adam. Their entire family has been enjoying the Tapit colt's breathtaking victories at Gulfstream.

“Mr. and Mrs. Adam are really enjoying this process,” said McGaughey. “They're hopeful that everything keeps going in the right direction. They enjoy doing it as a family. Their daughters have come with their granddaughters to both the Holy Bull and the Fountain of Youth. They're very enthusiastic too.

They're looking forward to the Florida Derby as they have the Holy Bull and the Fountain of Youth. If we pass the test, I'm sure they're going to look forward to going to Louisville.”

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