Code of Honor rebounded nicely from a disappointing 4th place finish in his 2009 introduction, as well as a layoff, to win the Grade 2, $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes on Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
Under confident handling from John Velazquez, Code of Honor broke well for a change, and secured his place on the railroad while the area spread out 12 wide on the first flip. While Global Campaign tracked in third favorite Hidden Scroll and haul Gladiator King assumed the lead and fought.
Meanwhile, Code split horses to make his move on the final turn and of Honor began moving up. He managed to put away Hidden Scroll at the 1/8 pole and went on to win just like a professional.
Bourbon War came storming out of the pack with a severe rally that was late night, but it was over and he would come up 3/4 of a span short. Vekoma raced well to be third and 6/5 favorite Hidden Scroll held fourth.
The win was much easier than it seemed for the son of Noble Mission, as Velazquez knew the pair was home and geared him down nearing the wire.
“They were going too quickly up front,” Velazquez said,”and I was comfortable where I was. We put a lot of work in him, and he showed today what sort of horse he is.”
Code of Honor compensated $21.00 to win and finished the 1??1/16 mile in 1:43.85. Will guarantee him a place in the gate at Churchill on May 4.
Trainer Shug McGauhey is currently eyeing the March 30 Florida Derby for his second start.
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