Despite not having much pace to chase when trailing the field of six to the quarter pole, Code of Honor nonetheless provided a winning burst of speed through the stretch to easily claim Saturday’s $245,000 Dwyer (G3) at Belmont Park.
Making his first start since being elevated from third to second in the Kentucky Derby (G1) two months ago, Code of Honor was content to bide his time at the back while Majid set a moderate pace of :23.83, :47.95, and 1:12.34.
Asked for run by John Velazquez turning for home, the Will Farish homebred bulled his way between rivals while making a four-wide bid and drove home impressively to register a 3 1/4-length victory.
“He ran as we expected,” Velazquez said. “I was behind the horse I expected to be. I went to go to the outside, and Jose (Ortiz, aboard Mihos) went to the outside, so I went back to the inside and he responded right away. Today, he put it all together the way we expected out of him. Hopefully, he can continue doing that going forward.”
Trained by Shug McGaughey, Code of Honor paid $4.30 after completing one mile over a fast track in 1:35.81. Final Jeopardy finished second, one length ahead of Rowayton. Completing the order of finish were Mihos, Majid, and Whiskey Echo.
The Dwyer was the second career stakes win for Code of Honor, who captured the Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream in early March. In addition to the Kentucky Derby, he also owns placings in the Champagne (G1) and Florida Derby (G1), with his only down effort a fourth to Mihos in the $100,000 Mucho Macho Man to start his three-year-old campaign.
By Noble Mission, Code of Honor is out of the Grade 3- winning Dixie Union mare Reunited. His record now stands at 7-3-2-1, $1,215,820.