Honor Code Named Eclipse Champion Older Dirt Male


Honor Code pictured left at Lane's End, his half-brother Noble Tune at Rathmor Stud on the right.
Honor Code pictured left at Lane’s End, his half-brother Noble Tune at Rathmor Stud on the right.

Noble Tune’s half-brother by A.P. Indy, Honor Code earned his Eclipse Award the old-fashioned way. He campaigned from late winter until the spring, didn’t duck the competition, and won prestigious and historic Grade 1 events in New York.

He began with a marvelous pedigree, being from the last crop of 1992 Horse of the Year A.P. Indy out of the stakes-winning Storm Cat mare Serena’s Cat, a granddaughter of champion and Hall of Fame member Serena’s Song. Dell Ridge Farm bred Honor Code in Kentucky, and Lane’s End Racing bought a majority interest in him as a yearling, with Teresa Viola Racing ultimately joining the ownership group.

Before trainer Shug McGaughey’s string left its winter Florida home, Honor Code made his 2015 debut in the Gulfstream Park Handicap Gr2 at a mile. He defeated multiple Gr1 winner Private Zone by a half-length.

Honor Code tackled a mile once again in the June Metropolitan Handicap Gr1 at Belmont Park against horses who had won at diverse distances. Favored Tonalist  had succeeded at 1 1/2 miles in the 2014 Belmont Stakes Gr1 but was coming off a mile stakes victory. Despite racing wide, Honor Code defeated Tonalist, who encountered trouble of his own during the race.

When the circuit moved to Saratoga Race Course, Honor Code again came home victorious, this time in the Whitney Stakes Gr1. Liam’s Map (who shares a sire with Noble Tune – Unbridled’s Song) led through most of the race and appeared to have victory well in hand. But Honor Code, last early, refused to give up, closing what looked like an insurmountable gap to wrest the lead away in the final stride by a neck.

That gave Honor Code wins over Tonalist and Liam’s Map, the other two finalists in his division. At the Breeders’ Cup, Liam’s Map opted for the Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile Gr1 while Honor Code finished ahead of Tonalist again when third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Gr1.

Honor Code takes a championship and lifetime earnings of $2,518,260, $2,075,660 of that earned during 2015, to stud at Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky for the second highest stud fee of freshman sires in the USA behind American Pharoah. Liam’s Map and Tonalist have joined him at Lane’s End Farm for their first covering season in 2016.

Noble Tune’s first foals have arrived at Rathmor Stud in 2015, Gr1 Breeders Cup Juvenile placed Noble Tune stood for a fee of R25 000.

Voting in the older dirt male division: Honor Code, 126; Liam’s Map, 95; Tonalist, 14; Effinex, 12; Shared Belief, 9; California Chrome  , 3. voter abstentions, 2.

– extract bloodhorse.com

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