William S. Farish’s homebred Code of Honor closed the major Keeneland portion of his preparation for the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) in two weeks by working 5 furlongs in 1:01 over a sloppy track Saturday morning.
Working at 7:30 on a brisk, overcast morning with jockey John Velazquez aboard, Code of Honor produced fractions of :25.20, :49 and 1:01 and galloped out 6 furlongs in 1:13.60 and 7 furlongs in 1:27. (Click here for a video of the work.)
It was Code of Honor’s second work here since finishing third in the Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) on March 30. He worked a half-mile here on April 12 in :49 over a fast track.
“It was very good, very nice,” Velazquez said before heading to the airport to catch a plane to Washington, D.C., and then a drive to Charles Town, West Virginia, where he has three mounts this afternoon on the Charles Town Classic (G2) program. “There was a nice inside path where nobody had been galloping and he handled (the conditions) very well.”
Velazquez, who won the Kentucky Derby in 2011 with Animal Kingdom and in 2017 with Always Dreaming, had worked Code of Honor previously.
“I had worked him at Payson (Park Training Center in Florida) and he was more laid-back down there,” Velazquez said. “Once he gets on a race track (to work), he’s more aggressive.”
Trainer Shug McGaughey said Code of Honor probably would ship to Churchill Downs Wednesday, April 24, with his final pre-Derby work coming Sunday, April 28, or Monday, April 29, depending on weather.
“I was pleased with that this morning and I’m glad that’s over with,” said McGaughey, who won the 2013 Derby with Orb. “I wanted him to go in 1:01 and that’s what he did, and I had him going out (6 furlongs) in 1:13 and change and seven-eighths in 1:26 and change.”