Whitney (G1) Quotes

December 10, 2019

Shug McGaughey, winning trainer of Honor Code (No. 1): "I thought with the early fractions they might back up a little bit. But I misjudged it and [at the sixteenth pole], I looked up and said, 'Oh, man.' It was a spectacular race. A spectacular horse. People have always held him in high regard, but wondered if he could run around two turns. He's got some quirks about him, could he overcome them? I guess he answered all that today. I'm glad it's over with and I'm glad we won, so I don't have to worry about that part of it.

"He's an amazing horse. He has been, really, from the start, from his maiden race here in the slop when it looked like he was hopelessly beaten, and he won. He's really grown into himself. We're very excited and very happy about today. To be able to win a race like the Whitney is a big feather in our cap."

Javier Castellano, winning jockey aboard Honor Code (No. 1): "I don't have anything to do on my horse; that's his style. At the three-eighths, I felt like he was going to go to the leader and at the quarter pole, he didn't kick off. When he got to the eighth pole, he switched leads, on the right lead in the right place at the right time. He ran unbelievable, like he always does."

"He didn't give it [speed] like I thought [he would], I had to use a little bit. It was different in the Met Mile, by the three-eighths, by the quarter-pole, I had gotten it. I knew I was going to be rolling. Today, I kind of felt like I was going to have to work a little bit at the quarter pole, but he switched leads at the right time at the eighth pole. He finished really strong."

Todd Pletcher, trainer of second-place finisher Liam's Map (No. 4): "I could see Honor Code was coming, so I knew it would be really close until the finish. He ran unbelievably well, setting those fractions to start and being there to the end. He just couldn't hold off a really good horse."

Christophe Clement, trainer of beaten favorite and third-place finisher Tonalist (No. 2): "We tried our best today, and that's it. He ran a very good race, and we live to fight another day."

John Velazquez, jockey aboard beaten favorite and third-place finisher Tonalist (No. 2): "We got in the position we wanted to be in, and tried to make a run. It took a long time to get him going and other horse passed him. He finally started running at the quarter pole and then he kept running."

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