In the days leading up to the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida, usracing.com will profile the horses in the race set for Jan. 23. The profiles will be updated on Jan. 20 with morning-line odds, post positions and jockeys.
By Ed McNamara
Comes in on a four-race losing streak after an underachieving, 1-for-5 season as a 4-year-old. The win came against unimpressive opponents in the Grade 3 Westchester. That he’s one of the marquee horses in the Pegasus tells you all you need to know about an uninspiring field. A race with a $3 million purse should have attracted superstars, not a second-tier group.
Code of Honor burned plenty of money finishing second in the Clark and the Kelso, fourth in the Whitney and third in the Met Mile. Much more was expected of him last season after he won the Travers and Jockey Club Gold Cup (via DQ) and ran second in the Kentucky Derby (via DQ). Traffic trouble and lack of pace were somewhat to blame for his slump at 4, but he hasn’t been himself since he ran seventh in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Before the Clark, trainer Shug McGaughey said, “I think the two turns and the mile and an eighth probably suit him better than the mile in the Kelso did.” He’ll get his preferred 9 furlongs in the Pegasus, where he’ll probably be an underlay. Certainly could win if he can finally work out a trip and recapture his 3-year-old form.
Post position: TBD
Trainer: Shug McGaughey
Jockey: John Velazquez
Owner: Will Farish
Career record: 15-6-4-2
Career earnings: $2,644,320
Top Equibase speed figure: 115
Pedigree: Noble Mission-Reunited, by Dixie Union
Running style: Closer
Notes: Code of Honor’s trip in the Clark: Sixth early, steady progress, four-wide move at the three-sixteenths pole but fell a length short of front-running upset winner Bodexpress. “I thought he ran fine,” McGaughey said. “I was disappointed he didn’t win, but once he got freed up, the other horse jumped away from him and we just couldn’t catch him.” … Code of Honor is 1-for-2 at Gulfstream, winning the Fountain of Youth and running third behind Maximum Security in the Florida Derby.
Ed McNamara is an award-winning journalist who has been writing about thoroughbred racing for 35 years. He has handicapped races for ESPN.com, Newsday and The Record of New Jersey. He is the author of “Cajun Racing: From the Bush Tracks to the Triple Crown” and co-author of “The Most Glorious Crown,” a chronicle of the first 12 Triple Crown champions.