By J.J. Hysell
The Lexington Herald-Leader reported Wednesday that Honor Code will bypass the Fountain of Youth because of a minor setback.
Trainer Shug McGaughey told Alicia Wincze-Hughes that a future race like the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct is in play and that the son of A.P. Indy, considered one of the early Kentucky Derby favorites, isn’t “out of the picture yet.” Here’s the link: http://horseracing.bloginky.com/2014/01/29/setback-to-keep-honor-code-out-of-fountain-of-youth/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
McGaughey has not firmed up plans yet for one of his other top 3-year-olds, Top Billing, who won an allowance race in impressive fashion Saturday. With Honor Code out, the Fountain of Youth has now come into play for the son of Curlin, and it could be a perfect fit.
Top Billing has already performed well in two starts on the Gulfstream surface. The Feb. 22 test would appear to fit a two-race schedule if that’s what McGaughey is seeking. Also, Top Billing is behind the mark when it comes to points. The Fountain of Youth offers 50 points to the winner, 20 points to second, 10 to third and five to fourth. Last year, the 20th horse to qualify for the Derby had 10 points. As far as point projections, however, much depends on defections prior to the race.
Luckily, the setback for Honor Code appears to be minor. This new path could prove to be a benefit for both Derby contenders.