January 2014 Issue - page 8

Page 8
January 2014
PENNSYLVANIA EQUESTRIAN
Honor Code, Trained at Fair Hill, is a Top Kentucky Derby Contender
Pensioned in 2011, A. P.
Indy has 25 juveniles in his final
crop. Honor Code also hails
from stakes-winning Serena’s
Cat-- the champion three-year-
old filly of 1995 and earner of
more than $3.2 million. Honor
Code is a half-brother to Noble
Tune, hero of this year’s Grade 2
American Turf and runner-up in
the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
Turf.
Lane’s End Farm bought into
the colt as a yearling from Dell
Ridge Farm.
“Honestly he’s one of the
most remarkable looking A.P.
Indy’s I’ve ever seen,” noted
Lane’s End’s CEO Will Farish.
“We were so thrilled to get him
and how good he’s been to us. He
was the entire package, a remark-
able-looking individual. He’s
beautifully balanced, very correct
and everything that you’d hope
for conformation.”
In 2012 McGaughey rolled
out a good-looking two year-old
who rallied from out of the clouds
to finish a good third in his debut.
That horse, Orb, would go on to
won the 2013 Kentucky Derby.
Honor Code began his career
at Saratoga Race Course August
31 with a dazzling 4 ½-length win
over a maiden special weight group
going seven furlongs on a sloppy
track. He rallied from 22 lengths
behind that day and displayed a
similar late turn of foot in nearly
winning the Champagne Stakes in
September despite being floated
seven or eight paths wide off the
turn. He came up a neck short.
Amazing Pace
How impressive was Honor
Code’s late kick in his debut race?
To put it into perspective, the rac-
ing website Brisnet’s pace figures-
- essentially in-race speed figures-
- lists his late-pace figure (from
the second call of the race to the
wire) at a staggering 138. Anything
above 100 would be considered
very strong. The great Zenyatta’s
best late-pace figure was 130.
A gritty winner in the Remsen
off a layoff of 51 days, the victory
pushed Honor Code’s earnings to
$388,000 with a record of 2-1-0
from three starts. He earned ten
Kentucky Derby qualifying points
for the Remsen victory and with his
second-place finish in the Cham-
pagne at Belmont in October has
14 overall. He left NewYork and
was shipped to Rood and Riddle
Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky.
where he underwent a procedure to
remove an undescended testicle.
Honor Code is now at
Payson Park Training Center in
Indiantown, Fla., preparing for
the Triple Crown series of 2014.
It’s the same facility where Mc-
Gaughey trained Orb.
“He’s going to be able to run
that far [Triple Crown distances],
we just have to figure out how he
wants to do it,” McGaughey said.
“Orb made such progress from the
first of January to May 4, we’ll
just have to see if this horse is
going to do the same. I think that’s
what really makes a horse that can
win the Derby or a Triple Crown
race, they get to progress over the
winter.”
Super Trifecta
Talk about a run for the
money. The year 2013 was an
extraordinary one for the Fair Hill
Training Center. The winners of
this year’s Dubai World Cup, Ken-
tucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup
Classic all trained at Fair Hill at
some stage of their careers. Total
winnings for those three races
were an eye-popping $17 million.
In the world’s richest race,
Animal Kingdom ran away from
the field in capturing the $10
Million Dubai World Cup in late
March. He was stabled at Graham
Motion’s barn for the end of 2011
and most of 2012. The well-trav-
eled citizen of world was the even-
money favorite to run off with
the Queen Anne Stakes last June.
Looking for a storybook finish to
his career, Animal Kingdom was
no factor in the prestigious race - a
straight mile on the opening day of
the Royal Ascot meet. He was re-
tired and sent to stud at Arrowfield
Farm in Australia through January.
He returns to the U.S. to stand the
2014 season at Sheikh Moham-
med’s Darley near Lexington.
Orb roared down the stretch
to win the 139th edition of
Kentucky Derby on May 4. After
the Triple Crown series ended,
the colt turned up at Fair Hill for
some R&R and later training on
the dirt and Tapeta tracks. He was
stabled at Bruce Jackson’s barn
along with a string of McGaughey
top-flight horses. Orb returned to
the races with a strong third-place
finish in the Travers Stakes at
Saratoga, but after a head scratch-
ing performance in the Jockey
Club Gold Cup his connections
decided to retire him. He will
stand at Claiborne Farm in 2014.
In a thrilling three horse duel
to the wire Mucho Macho Man-
- a big, long-striding horse-- held
off Will Take Charge and War
Declaration to capture the $5 Mil-
lion Breeders’ Cup Classic by a
nose. Mucho Macho Man arrived
at Fair Hill last spring after he
failed to finish the Florida Sun-
shine Millions Classic in January
and posted third place results in
his next two starts. Now six in
2014, Mucho Macho Man earned
$5,340,410 with eight wins in 23
career starts. He will remain in
training for a 2014 campaign.
“Fair Hill was a great place
for Mucho Macho Man,” said
Kathy Ritvo, the horse’s trainer.
“We restarted his year from there.
The facilities and training center
are fantastic.”
More McGaughey
There is another three-year
old McGaughey colt worth
watching. In his debut race
Top Billing was squeezed and
dropped back some 15 lengths in
the early stages of a six-furlong
race on December 7 at Laurel
Park in Maryland. Then jockey
Alex Cintron asked the chestnut
colt to run. Top Billing’s response
was instantaneous and powerful
over a sloppy track as he powered
down the middle of the stretch
pulling away by five lengths.
The eye-catching perfor-
mance was eerily reminiscent
of Honor Code’s maiden win in
Saratoga last summer. Top Bill-
ing, who spent time at Fair Hill
last fall, definitely has the blood-
lines for the Triple Crown Trail. A
son of two-time Horse of the Year
Curlin, he also hails from a strong
female family. The William Far-
rish (Lane’s End Farm owner) and
E J Hudson, Jr. homebred is out of
the A.P Indy mare, Parade Queen.
Amultiple graded stakes win-
ner herself, Parade Queen is the
dam of the fast and very talented
Bodemeister from the three-year
old class of 2012.
Finally, Orb’s owners Ogden
Mills Phipps and Stuart Janney
III, (Orb Racing LLC) finalized
the purchase of the Perfect Sky
II barn at Fair Hill on November
30th and will be renovating parts
of the barn over the winter before
moving in this spring.
To contact Terry Conway,
email tconway@terryconway.
net.
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