Derby Spotlight: Code of Honor

triple crown

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Frequent visitors to LoneSpeed know that I have a very strong opinion about Code of Honor. And that opinion cost me money when he won the Fountain of Youth. My opinion is that he is a miler, with a preference for mile races of the one turn variety.

I was greatly disappointed when he didn’t make the Breeders’ Cup last fall because I was determined to bet against him. His closing effort in the Champagne was dressed up I felt. And that figured to make him a short price at Churchill Downs on the first Friday in November. His off-the-board performance in the sophomore debut at Gulfstream was “vindication” of my resistance to tab him among the divisions’s elite. At least that’s what I thought at the time.

Looking back, maybe the Fountain of Youth just set up perfectly for him. He had a great trip, the finish line was basically in mid-stretch, and the favorites didn’t fire. Bourbon War, who will likely miss the Kentucky Derby, probably should have won that race.

In the Florida Derby, regardless of what you think about Code of Honor’s desire for more distance, he didn’t have much chance the way the race unfolded. They simply went too slow up front. That said, please take note of the fact that he lost almost four lengths to Maximum Security in the stretch. Should he have? If he is one that truly wants 10 furlongs, should he have backed up that badly late?

I stand by my assertion that Code of Honor will ultimately prove to be best at shorter distances. Can he win the Kentucky Derby? Personally, I don’t think he can. I think he’s an outsider and my feeling is that if he manages a superfecta finish, it will be based on sheer talent. Sort of like More Than Ready.

One final thought- Is this were Johnny V. ends up? Does he pass on both Pletcher horses, Cutting Humor and Spinoff? Remember, he jumped off Audible last year and that ended up being the wrong move, didn’t it?


  1. Steve Patton on April 17, 2019 at 1:01 am

    Johnny v also got off orb and it cost him the derby. Don’t think he will do it again. Don’t underestimate shug!!

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