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Social Inclusion downs Honor Code, sets track record

  • Social Inclusion cruised by 10 lengths over the heavily favored Honor Code (Leslie Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Heavily favored Honor Code went down to defeat Wednesday at Gulfstream Park as Social Inclusion parlayed an uncontested lead into a track-record setting performance in a $61,500 open allowance for three-year-olds.

Breaking from post 1 under Luis Contreras, Social Inclusion quickly opened up a 2 1/2-length lead through the opening quarter-mile, maintained a comfortable lead down the backside as Honor Code advanced from fourth to second, and then expanded his lead to the wire. Passing the half in :47 2/5 and six furlongs in 1:10 3/5, Social Inclusion continued to find more and was 10 lengths in front at the wire. The final time for 1 1/16 miles on a fast track was a track-record 1:40.97.

The 7-5 second choice off a 7 1/2-length debut win at Gulfstream going six furlongs on February 22, Social Inclusion paid $4.80 and boosted his career earnings to $59,400.           

"I really like this horse and I like everything he's done since I've got him," trainer Manny Azpurua said. "I'm so pleased with him and I believe he's going to keep improving."

Honor Code, who was reluctant to load into the gate, was easily second best in a strung-out field. The regally-bred 1-2 favorite, who captured the Remsen and finished a close second in the Champagne last season, was 17 1/4 lengths clear of third place-finisher We're All Set.

"I knew how the race was going to set up. (Social Inclusion) had speed and he had two 35 (second works) since he ran, so I knew he would go," said Shug McGaughey, the trainer of Honor Code. "The track was really fast this morning, and horses ran 1:08-and-change earlier in the day. I'm disappointed he didn't win, but we got a race into him and I don't think (jockey Javier Castellano) killed him by any means. We'll see if he goes forward off of this. I think the horse that won in a very, very special horse."

Specialnightaction and Ta Bueno, both of whom were more than 44 lengths behind Social Inclusion, rounded out the order of finish.

"From the first time we trained him, we knew he was something special," said owner Ron Sanchez of Rontos Racing Stable. "The next step, we're going to wait and see how he comes out of the race. We'll take our time. We'll wait until next week and decide, but we definitely want to go to the (Kentucky) Derby."

A $60,000 Keeneland September yearling, Social Inclusion was bred in Kentucky by Robert Tillyer, Martin Keogh, and Dr. Chet Blackey.

Social Inclusion is a son of Pioneerof the Nile and the Grade 2-placed mare Saint Bernadette, a daughter of Saint Ballado. 

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California Chrome is attempting to become only the fourth California-bred, Kentucky Derby winner in history and the first since Decidedly in 1962.