By Dick Downey
Honor Code is not likely to compete in the Fountain of Youth Stakes on Feb. 22 after trainer Shug McGaughey said he believes the colt has bruised back ankles.
“We had a little setback. He’ll go back to the track on Friday...and we'll see how it goes,” McGaughey said Wednesday. “He bruised up his back ankles a little bit. I think he’ll be fine. I wasn’t sure about what was the matter with him. Now I think we have it pinpointed.”
Since narrowly winning the Remsen Stakes in late November, Honor Code has gone through an up-and-down series of events. He is a ridgling and had an undescended testicle removed at Rood and Riddle Clinic in Lexington. After that he was shipped to Payson Park in Florida He breezed three furlongs at Payson on Dec. 31 and then was away from the worktab until Jan. 18, when he again breezed three furlongs.
“The Fountain of Youth isn’t likely. Where we’ll go, I don’t know. The Gotham is a possibility,” McGaughey said.
Without Honor Code in the lineup, McGaughey moved up the probability that stable mate Top Billing, an impressive allowance winner at Gulfstream Park last Saturday would run int the Fountain of Youth. The trainer's on record saying that he'd like to keep the two of them separated.