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Mar 14, 2014

Honor Code defeated in return effort


Hallandale Beach, FL ( - Odds-on favorite Honor Code, making his first start of the year, was soundly defeated Wednesday in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park.

In his first race in more than three months, Honor Code was the 1-2 favorite in a five-horse field going 1 1/16 miles. The 3-year-old Kentucky Derby contender was difficult to load for the race.

Social Inclusion, ridden by Luis Contreras, quickly took the lead and set the entire pace. Honor Code, with Javier Castellano riding, raced second up the backstretch, but could not get any closer than two lengths to the leader.

Honor Code finished 10 lengths behind Social Inclusion for second, but more than 17 lengths in front of third-place finisher We're All Set. Specialnightaction and Ta Bueno completed the field.

The time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:40.97 on a fast track.

Social Inclusion returned $4.80, $2.20 and $2.10. Honor Code paid $2.10 and $2.10, and We're All Set paid $2.10 to show.

"The track had been playing pretty fast," Castellano said. "It's hard to catch up to the horses that go out on the lead. With a small field, sometimes it's hard with my horse's style he likes to come from behind. I had to use him a little bit to be tactical and he responded.

"I'm very fortunate with the way he did it today. It was a good performance. Unfortunately we got beat. But I like to look at the big picture - his season is just starting and I'm pleased with the way he came back."

Trained by Shug McGaughey, Honor Code had not raced since winning the Remsen Stakes last Nov. 30 at Aqueduct. He was scheduled to start in Saturday's Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park, but the decision was made to put him in the allowance race.

"I knew how the race was going to set up. (Social Inclusion) had speed and he had two 35(second works) since he ran, so I knew he would go. The track was really fast this morning, and horses ran 1:08-and-change earlier in the day," McGaughey said. "I'm disappointed he didn't win, but we got a race into him and I don't think (jockey Javier Castellano) killed him by any means. We'll see if he goes forward off of this. I think the horse that won is a very, very special horse."

Owned by Lane's End Racing and Dell Ridge Farm, Honor Code won his debut race last August at Saratoga and finished second in the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 5 a head behind Havana.

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