Code of Honor Odds: 2019 Kentucky Derby Contender Series

The Shug McGaughey-trained Code of Honor was an early betting favorite for the Kentucky Derby (G1) last year. This was after running a good second in the Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park last October in his second career start. Here’s a look at the Code of Honor odds for the Run for the Roses.

He was a leading contender for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) last fall. However, he had to skip the race after spiking a fever that morning. He was the third choice on the morning line at 5-1. The race was won by Game Winner.

Code of Honor made his much anticipated three-year-old debut in the ungraded Mucho Macho Man three months later at Gulfstream Park. He was sent off as the 4-5 chalk.

Under jockey John Velazquez, the colt was bumped coming out of the gate, and stalked the early pace. He had no punch in the stretch in a disappointing fourth-place finish.

It was just his first start of the year. But some horseplayers jumped off the bandwagon and the Code of Honor odds on the early Kentucky Derby betting lines began to drift upward.

His next start came in the Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park. Here, he would get a true test, running into the likes of Hidden Scroll, Vekoma and Bourbon of War. These horses took more betting action.

Sent off at 9-1, the colt pulled off the mild upset and jumped back up the ladder in early Kentucky Derby wagering as the fourth choice at +1400 with one prep left before heading to Louisville.

The final prep came in the Florida Derby (G1) on March 30 at Gulfstream Park. Here, he was sent off as the third betting choice behind Hidden Scroll and Bourbon War.

Maximum Security, the fourth choice in the race, and was able to set soft early fractions. He took the field gate to wire. Meanwhile, Code of Honor rallied to finish third, while shying outward away from the jockey’s whip and changing leads a few times in the stretch.

Code of Honor Odds: Settling on Kentucky Derby Betting Board

His price has settled in at +1400 for the Kentucky Derby odds, which is now good for eighth in the early betting.

His trainer is in the Hall of Fame and McGaughey won the Kentucky Derby with Orb in 2013, his last starter in the race. He had six starters previously, including running second and third in 1989 with Easy Goer and Awe Inspiring.

Shug will give a leg up to fellow Hall of Famer John Velazquez. He has adorned the roses twice, with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and Always Dreaming in 2017.

Pedigree-wise, the colt may be more suited for races at about a mile. His mare is the stakes winner Reunited. She won the 2005 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (G3) at Keeneland at six furlongs.

However, he seems likely to improve off his Florida Derby effort with a more honest pace in front of him, which appears likely.

Post Navigation