Code Of Honor with Paco Lopez wins the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin at Monmouth Park.
Code of Honor came into the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin Stakes as the favorite based on his resume of wins in races like the Grade 1 Travers Stakes and the Grade 3 Dwyer. He proved why bettors had made him their choice, as he took the lead on the far turn and powered to an easy victory in the G3 Iselin at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J.
In his first start since the Jan. 23 Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park, Code of Honor broke cleanly, jockey Paco Lopez settling him in behind West Will Power and I’m a G Six entering the first turn. The 2019 Travers winner sat in fourth down the backstretch, never more than three lengths behind the front runners as I’m a G Six took over the lead with West Will Power and Brice in second and third. As the field hit the far turn, Lopez moved Code of Honor to the outside to make his bid for the lead.
Code of Honor had no trouble taking over as the front runner, steadily increasing his advantage around the turn and through the stretch to win the G3 Iselin by two and a half lengths. West Will Power was second with Phat Man third. Brice, Croatian, I’m a G Six, and Magic Michael rounded out the order of finish.
The final time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:42.38. Find this race’s chart here.
Code of Honor paid $4.00, $2.80, and $2.10. West Will Power paid $3.60 and $2.40. Phat Man paid $2.20.
“I thought he ran good. I was pleased, very pleased. Paco Lopez let him break and run away from there. He knows that racetrack and he had him laying up a little closer than he usually is and made his move kind of early on to try to go on and get the thing over with. He rode a really nice race on him. This is a pretty handy little horse,” trainer Claude R. ‘Shug’ McGaughey III said after the race. “This is the first time he has run in a long time. With my training, I don’t try to overdo it. I think he could have been drifting out a little at the end. Maybe he was getting a little tired, I don’t know. But we got it in him and we got a win and hopefully we can go on to some other things down the road.”
Bred in Kentucky by owner Will Farish, Code of Honor is a 5-year-old horse by Noble Mission out of the Dixie Union mare Reunited. He was a $70,000 RNA consigned by Lane’s End at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. With the Iselin victory, the multiple graded stakes winner has a lifetime record of 7-4-2 in 17 starts for career winnings of $2,881,370.
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