Following a remarkable duel down the stretch in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on Saturday, Vino Rosso managed to outperform Code of Honor to claim first place. However, to everyone’s surprise, an inquiry occurred which caused a reversal of the result.
Obviously, not of the same magnitude as the disqualification of Maximum Security as the first place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, but enough to promote Code of Honor into first, allowing him to win the Breeders’ Cup Challenge race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic that will take place on 2 November 2019 at Santa Anita Park.
John Velazquez and Code of Honor managed to get into a challenging position after reaching the final turn, with Irad Ortiz and Vino Rosso in the lead.
The 4-year-old Gold Cup winner at Santa Anita Park and the 3-year-old Travers Stakes winner fought all the way down the stretch.
However, Vino Rosso drifted numerous times outside and managed to brush up against Code of Honor, who seemed to be in a good position to take the lead, a total of 3 times down the final stretch.
Vino Rosso managed to stay in front of Code of Honor, and the Travers Stakes winner never gave up as the two crossed the wire only a nose apart.
Once the race was completed, the stewards concluded that Irad Ortiz and Vino Rosso interfered with John Velazquez and Code of Honor which meant that the victory went to the Code of Honor and trainer Shug McGaughey.
You might remember that Code of Honor made a challenge for the lead at the Kentucky Derby earlier this year when the race was disturbed by a reshuffle of horses, including Maximum Security, that drifted out and interfered with numerous other horses during the event.
This allowed Code of Honor who finished in third place to be elevated into second place, while Country House in second place was moved up to first place.
Tacitus managed to come in third place during the Jockey Club Gold Cup, along with Preservationist in fourth place, who was the winner of the Woodward Stakes, followed by Olympic Village in fifth place.
Code of Honor provided a $6 return on a $2 bet as the second choice at 2-1 behind Preservationist as the favorite. The overall time for the Jockey Club Gold Cup 1¼ mile race was 2:00.30.
“Vino Rosso and us both ran winning races, and its too bad it had to end up this way,” stated McGaughey, who celebrated his fourth victory at the Jockey Club Gold Cup. “We got on the lucky side of it. I’m proud of Code of Honor. It was his first time against older horses.”
As for the Breeders Cup Classic, McGaughey stated, “It’s always exciting. We’ll just see how he comes back and I’ll talk to Mr. Farish and make up our minds.”
The 2019 record for Code of Honor has witnessed an improvement to a total of 4 victories for the year along with a third and second that brought in a staggering $2,1 million in earnings. This allows him to remain in the race for the 3-year-old divisional championship.
Code of Honor claimed victory during the Fountain of Youth, place third during the Florida Derby, and was the runner-up during the Kentucky Derby prior to winning the Dwyer Stakes, Travers Stakes, and the most recent Jockey Club Gold Cup.