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William Farish's Code of Honor, after being elevated to second in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, is making his anticipated reappearance to the races, cutting back in distance in the 103rd running of the Saturday's Grade 3, $250,000 Dwyer Stakes, in one of five graded stakes events scheduled for Saturday's Stars & Stripes Racing Festival.
The sophomore chestnut son of Noble Mission will look to join Seeking the Gold and Coronado's Quest as winners for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey in the one mile test for 3-year-olds over the Belmont Park main track.
Race 6 at Belmont Park on Saturday, July 06 - Post 3:55 PM
|3||Code of Honor||4-5||John Velazquez
|Claude McGaughey III|
|4||Whiskey Echo||20-1||Ricardo Santana, Jr.
|5||Final Jeopardy||8-1||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Code of Honor raced over a sloppy going for the first time in the Kentucky Derby, where he crossed the wire third but was placed second following the subsequent disqualification of Maximum Security. He ran his best number in the Kentucky Derby, recording a 97 Beyer Speed Figure.
Code of Honor was third in the Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park behind Maximum Security after winning the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth in February over the South Florida oval. His lone start over Belmont Park's main track was a runner-up effort in the Grade 1 Champagne last October, where he stumbled at the start, sat 10 lengths off the pace and made up enough ground to finish second by three lengths to Complexity.
McGaughey chose to bypass the Grade 1 Preakness and Grade 1 Belmont Stakes with Code of Honor, which was the plan exiting the Derby.
"I knew going in that if we didn't win the Derby we would wait on him. That was our game plan," McGaughey said. "He's been training excellent. He's mentally matured and physically matured and has done everything right since the Derby."
Hall of Famer John Velazquez, a two-time Dwyer winner, has been aboard Code of Honor in five of his six lifetime starts and will be back in the saddle for Saturday, breaking from post 3.
A Kentucky homebred, Code of Honor is out of the graded stakes winning Dixie Union broodmare Reunited.
Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing's Whiskey Echo, who defeated winners on May 27 at Churchill Downs going six furlongs, will be looking to notch a second victory off a nine-month layoff. Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, a two-time Dwyer winner, the dark bay son of Tiznow won his career debut at Belmont Park last June over eventual Grade 1-placed Mucho.
From there he would go on to place in both starts against stakes company and ran third in the Grade 3 Sandford before a close second to stable mate Tobacco Road in the Ellis Park Juvenile on August 19.
"I think given the distance and the fact that he's stakes placed at seven-eighths, this seemed like a logical step up after his last race, rather than go two turns and even further," said David Fiske, Racing and Bloodstock Manager for Winchell Thoroughbreds. "I was very satisfied with his last race. He has always been talented and we always expected big things from him. There are a lot of options with 3-year-olds this time of year so hopefully he can show us something and we can move on to Saratoga."
Bred in Kentucky by Don Alberto Corporation, Whiskey Echo is out of the unraced Stormy Atlantic broodmare Atala who is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Atelier and Grade 1 winner Aldiza. He was purchased for $225,000 from the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2017.
Jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. will have the mount aboard Whiskey Echo, who emerges from post 4.
Centennial Stables' stakes winner Mihos, who has not raced since a fifth-place finish in the Grade 2 Holy Bull on February 2 at Gulfstream Park, enters off a five-month layoff. The Jimmy Jerkens trained bay son of second-crop sire Cairo Prince was third in his career debut at Belmont Park behind eventual graded stakes winner Vekoma and graduated second time out over the main track at Aqueduct. Mihos ran a career best 90 Beyer Speed Figure in his subsequent start in the Mucho Macho Man, finishing a head in front of two-time stakes placed Trophy Chaser.
Mihos will break from the rail under jockey Jose Ortiz.
Entering the Dwyer off a stylish allowance win at Belmont Park is OXO Equine's Rowayton, who breaks from post 2 under Joel Rosario.
By Into Mischief, Rowayton was twice placed against Grade 1 company to Champion Two-Year-Old Game Winner as a 2-year-old after a first out graduation last July at Del Mar. The Don Chatlos-trainee was a disappointing fifth in his 2019 debut over a sloppy main track at Oaklawn Park but showed a much improved effort last time when defeating winners over the local main track on June 6.
Bred in Kentucky by Allen Poindexter, Rowayton is the first foal out of the Indian Charlie broodmare Rosemonde.
Trainer Jason Servis will go for back-to-back wins in the Dwyer after saddling Firenze Fire to victory last year. This time around he will be represented by Final Jeopardy for owners Gary and Mary West.
Final Jeopardy, a son of Street Sense, is seeking a rebound in form after two off-the-board finishes against graded stakes company, most recently running fourth in the Grade 3 Peter Pan on May 11. Two starts after breaking his maiden first time out by 5 ¼ lengths going six furlongs, he stretched out to one mile over the Gulfstream Park main track to defeat winners by 3 ¾ lengths.
Final Jeopardy will be guided by Irad Ortiz, Jr. from post 5.
Zayat Stables' Majid will go for another stakes victory in the Dwyer after a win in the Easy Goer on Belmont Stakes Day. The Rudy Rodriguez trained son of Shackleford will also seek a fifth straight win on Saturday. After a maiden claiming victory at Aqueduct in January, he went on to race through his conditions by winning two allowance races before his next victory in the Easy Goer.
Majid will break from the outermost post 6 under Luis Saez.
The Dwyer is carded as Race 6 as a part of Saturday's Stars & Stripes Racing Festival. First post is 1 p.m. Eastern.
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