June 10, 2015
Source: Blood-Horse (Written by: Claire Novak)
HONOR CODE turned on the afterburners and flew home June 6 in the $1.25 million Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park, with last year’s Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Tonalist getting up for second while favored at 8-5.
Speedster Private Zone set the mile event up perfectly for his Shug McGaughey-trained rival, clocking speedy early fractions of :22.42 and :44.92 for the proven closer to run into.
It was an impressive last-to-first run from HONOR CODE under jockey Javier Castellano, who powered up on the outside after three-quarters went in 1:08.74. Tonalist was also making up ground from far back, but had nowhere near the powerful kick of the A.P. Indy ridgling, who finished 3 3/4 lengths ahead.
The mile was run in 1:33.18 on a fast track by the Lane’s End Racing and Dell Ridge Farm runner, who rebounded from a disappointing fifth in the May 1 Alysheba Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. It was the first grade I win for HONOR CODE, who won the Remsen Stakes (gr. II) last year as a 3-year-old but was sidelined with a slight tear in his right hind upper suspensory.
Off at odds of 7-1, HONOR CODE returned $16.20, $6.40, and $4.30. Tonalist paid $3.50 and $2.70, two lengths ahead of Private Zone, who held for third and brought $4.30. Tamarkuz, Kobe’s Back, Pants On Fire, Noble Moon, Bay of Plenty, and Bayern completed the order of finish.
The Met Mile is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” event for the Oct. 30 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I).
HONOR CODE was bred in Kentucky by Dell Ridge out of the Storm Cat mare Serena’s Cat, and improved his record to five wins and two seconds from eight starts.