McGaughey Has Pegasus World Cup, Pegasus Turf On Radar For Code Of Honor, Note Dakota

Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey has the Grade 1, $3-million Pegasus World Cup on January 23 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., in mind for W.S. Farish homebred Code of Honor, who joined the conditioner’s winter division at Payson Park in Indiantown, Fla., after a runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Clark on Friday at Churchill Downs.

The 4-year-old son of Noble Mission was sixth early on, made steady progress throughout the race and launched a four-wide move at the three-sixteenths pole, but came up a length shy of 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. He’s at Payson Park this morning and we’ll point for the Pegasus.”

A winner of his 2020 debut in the Grade 3 Westchester going a one-turn 1 1/16-miles at Belmont Park, Code of Honor was third in the Grade 1 Runhappy Met Mile on July 4 and second in the Grade 2 Kelso on October 3, both at Belmont. As a 3-year-old, Code of Honor won the Grade 1 Runhappy Travers and was elevated to first in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Through a record of 15-6-4-2, Code of Honor has amassed $2,644,360 in lifetime earnings.

McGaughey also said Allen Stable’s homebred North Dakota could target the 1 3/16-mile Grade 1, $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational on January 23 at Gulfstream.

North Dakota tracked 14 lengths off the pace before launching a devastating stretch run to get up in the final jumps to secure a half-length triumph in the Grade 3 Red Smith on November 21 on the Big A turf, while registering a career-best 100 Beyer Speed Figure.

The 4-year-old Medaglia d’Oro colt, a half-brother to prolific stallion War Front, broke his maiden on March 25 over the turf at Tampa Bay Downs before defeating winners over the Oldsmar oval.

“I think he has a lot of upside,” McGaughey said. “It looks like he’s just learning how to run. Not sure where I want to run him next, maybe the Pegasus Turf. I wish it were a little farther, that would suit him better, but we’ll see.”

North Dakota is also a half-sibling to graded stakes winners Teammate, Ecclesiastic and black-type producing mare Gracie Square, whose daughter by Tapit, Mrs. Danvers, won the nine-furlong Grade 3 Comely in front-running fashion under Jose Ortiz on Friday at the Big A for McGaughey.

Also an Allen homebred, Mrs. Danvers broke her maiden last August at Saratoga and came back off 10 months rest to finish second going 6 ½ furlongs in a Belmont Park allowance on June 20. She did not find the winner’s circle until her fifth start this season going a one-turn mile on October 25 over Big Sandy ahead of the Comely.

“Some of her races here earlier, she just looked like she didn’t want to win,” McGaughey said. “She trained really, really well off her last race. She had a great work galloping out going into the race. I didn’t know what was going to happen, with 3-year-old fillies going a mile and an eighth most of them for the first time. Jose rode a good race.”

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