Honor A.P. ‘Training Strong’ Ahead Of June 6 Santa Anita Derby

Following an encouraging second in the San Felipe Stakes by Honor A.P. on March 7 behind undefeated Authentic, all systems were at the ready for a rematch in the Santa Anita Derby on April 4.

But when the Wuhan virus unmasked itself, it was back to square one for the son of Honor Code trained by John Shirreffs.

The West Coast‘s major steppingstone to the Kentucky Derby had been scheduled for April 4 but is now set for June 6, when six additional stakes will be featured. The Run for the Roses had its traditional running date of the first Saturday in May scrubbed too and moved to Sept. 5.

“We’re back to where we were before the San Felipe,” Shirreffs said, alluding to the five-month gap since Honor A.P.’s prior race, a maiden allowance test at a mile last Oct. 13, which he won on the lead by 5 ¼ lengths under Mike Smith. The Hall of Famer has been aboard Honor A.P. in each of his three races and will be on again in the Santa Anita Derby.

“He looks really good and he’s been training very well,” said Shirreffs, who has the ridgling owned by C R K Stables scheduled to have his seventh recorded breeze tomorrow (May 14) since the San Felipe, which was decided at a mile and one sixteenth.

With a more favorable pace scenario in the Santa Anita Derby, Shirreffs hopes for a better outcome against the speedy Authentic, one of three spectacular undefeated sophomores trained by Bob Baffert, the others being Arkansas Derby divisional winners Charlatan and Nadal. The three rank fourth, third and first, respectively, in the current National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) poll.

“Authentic went to the lead (in the San Felipe) and dictated the pace pretty much all the way,” Shirreffs recalled, adding, “Since we weren’t racing here, I kind of backed off Honor A.P. a bit and didn’t work him too hard, but right now he’s training strong and I think he’s going to come into the Santa Anita Derby really well.”

The post Honor A.P. ‘Training Strong’ Ahead Of June 6 Santa Anita Derby appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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