Code of Honor on Saturday will make his first start since his elevation to second in the Kentucky Derby (G1) when he heads a field of six in the $250,000 Dwyer (G3) at Belmont Park. Contested over a one-turn mile, the Dwyer serves as a stepping stone to what connections hope will be a big second half of the season for the son of Noble Mission.
"I knew going in that if we didn't win the Derby we would wait on him. That was our game plan," trainer Shug McGaughey said. "He's been training excellent. He's mentally matured and physically matured and has done everything right since the Derby."
In his final two starts before the Derby, Code of Honor captured the Fountain of Youth (G2) and then ran third to Maximum Security in the Florida Derby (G1). Maximum Security crossed the wire first in the Kentucky Derby but was disqualified and placed 17th, resulting in the elevation of most of his rivals, including Honor Code who crossed the wire third after taking a brief lead in upper stretch when making a bid up the rail.
Code of Honor's rivals include Mihos, who defeated him in the $100,000 Mucho Macho Man in early January before leaving the Kentucky Derby trail following a fifth-place effort in the Holy Bull (G2). Rowayton, who placed behind juvenile champion Game Winner in the Del Mar Futurity (G1) and American Pharoah (G1) last season, enters the Dwyer off a Belmont allowance win going 6 1/2 furlongs.
Later on Saturday's program, three Kentucky Derby alumni will compete in the $1 million Belmont Derby (G1) over 1 1/4 miles on the turf. Plus Que Parfait (8th) will be making his first start since the Churchill Downs classic, while Master Fencer (7th) and Spinoff (18th) switch to turf following fifth- and sixth-place finishes, respectively, in the Belmont Stakes (G1).