Code of Honor 'on target' for Met Mile; Performer to sit it out

Code of Honor 'on target' for Met Mile; Performer to sit it out
Photo: Joe Labozzetta/NYRA

Trainer Shug McGaughey confirmed Wednesday that Code of Honor, winner of the June 6 Westchester Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park, is headed for the Metropolitan Mile (G1) on July 4.

“Nothing’s a definite in this game, but he’s on target for that,” McGaughey said.

McGaughey said he’s been impressed with what he's seen of the 4-year-old son of Noble Mission, who breezed five furlongs in a bullet 1:00.50 this morning at Belmont.

“He’s been very good,” he said. “He’s kind of surprised me how well he, off a layoff like that, coming back and racing a mile and 16th, how well he came out of his race. I was sort of waiting to see this morning how he worked, and I thought he worked excellent. If he comes out of it fine, we’ll blow him out a little bit next week, and we plan on running.”

The Westchester was the first race of the year for the W.S. Farish homebred and the first since his seventh-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November. He won four graded-stakes races last year – the Fountain of Youth (G2), the Dwyer (G3), the Runhappy Travers (G1) and the Jockey Club Gold Stakes (G1) – and finished second in the Kentucky Derby.

McGaughey said Code of Honor is a “pushbutton” horse. “He loves to train, he’s easy to train, he’s just automatic. You just point him and he goes.”

Another McGaughey trainee, Peformer, who won all four starts last year but hasn’t raced since the Discovery Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct in November, will not run in the Met Mile. The son of Speightstown had been training at Payson Park Training Center and at Belmont, but “I backed off him for 30 days,” McGaughey said in a text message.

And the next step hasn’t been determined for Alandra, a 3-year-old filly coming off a win in a 1 1/16th-mile allowance race at Belmont on June 11.

Could she be working toward the Kentucky Oaks? “It depends, McGaughey said. “She just came out of a first-level allowance race, and I haven’t decided where I’m going to run her – Delaware Oaks, Monmouth Oaks, Coaching Club Oaks or someplace else I don’t know about. But she’ll have to tell me whether she’s that kind or not.”

2020 Metropolitan (G1)

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