Code of Honor rebounded nicely from a disappointing 4th place finish in his 2009 debut, 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 switch, and secured his place on the railroad while the area spread out 12 broad on the first turn. Favorite Hidden Scroll assumed the early lead and fought with shot Gladiator King while Global Campaign tracked in third.
Code split horses to make his move on the turn and of Honor began moving upward gradually. He was able to put off Hidden Scroll at the 1/8 pole and proceeded to win like a professional.
Bourbon War came storming out of the pack with a rally that was severe, but it was over and he’d develop 3/4 of a span. Vekoma raced well to be third and 6/5 favorite Hidden Scroll held fourth.
The triumph was much simpler than it seemed for the son of Noble Mission, as Velazquez understood the set was home and geared him down nearing the cable.
“They were moving too fast up front,” Velazquez said,”and I was comfortable where I was. We place a great deal of work in him, and he showed today what kind of horse he is.”
Code of Honor paid $21.00 to win and finished the 1??1/16 mile in 1:43.85. Will ensure him a spot from the gate at Churchill on May 4.
Trainer Shug McGauhey is currently eyeing the March 30 Florida Derby for his second start.