Code of Honor turned in an impressive debut for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, leading from start to finish on Aug. 18, 2018 at Saratoga Race Course en route to a 1 1/2-length victory. He then made his stakes debut in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes and stumbled leaving the starting gate, forcing him to drop back to neack the back of the field. Code of Honor made a sustained rally to move into contention on the turn and finished a fast-closing second to winner Complexity.
Code of Honor turned in an impressive debut for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, leading from start to finish on Aug. 18, 2018 at Saratoga Race Course en route to a 1 1/2-length victory. He then made his stakes debut in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes and stumbled leaving the starting gate, forcing him to drop back to neack the back of the field. Code of Honor made a sustained rally to move into contention on the turn and finished a fast-closing second to winner Complexity. A fever knocked him out of the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, so the Champagne was the final start of the year for Code of Honor.
In his 2019 debut, Code of Honor ran a disappointing fourth, beaten by 7 ¾ lengths, in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes on Jan. 5 at Gulfstream Park. He bounced back in a big way in the Grade 2 Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes on March 2 at Gulfstream, where he rolled past heavy favorite Hidden Scroll in early stretch and held off fast-closing Bourbon War to win the 50-point Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve prep race. In his final prep race for the Kentucky Derby, Code of Honor rallied belatedly for third in the Grade 1 Xpressbet Florida Derby.
Code of Honor briefly looked poised to win the Kentucky Derby when he charged through a hole on the inside after Maximum Security ducked out on the final turn. He flattened out a bit late, however, but Code of Honor still had enough fuel in the tank to hold on for third before being elevated to second via the disqualification of Maximum Security.
McGaughey gave the chestnut colt plenty of time to recover from the Kentucky Derby and brought him back ion July 6 in the Grade 3 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park. Code of Honor looked like a fresh and fit racehorse in the Dwyer, closing from last of six with a powerful rally for a runaway victory that stamped him a top contender for the Runhappy Travers Stakes, the “Mid-Summer Derby” at Saratoga Race Course.
Code of Honor really put it all together in the $1.25-million Travers. Reserved off the pace early under regular rider John Velazquez, Code of Honor swept into the stretch at Saratoga very wide but with clear running room in front of him the Noble Mission colt inhaled Belmont Stakes runner-up Tacitus and Haskell Invitational Stakes runner-up Mucho Gusto for a runaway victory. Facing older males for the first time in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Sept. 28 at Belmont Park, Code of Honor dueled with Vino Rosso through a thrilling stretch run that included some bumping cause by Vino Rosso and came up just short in the closing strides. Code of Honor was awarded the victory via disqualification after Belmont stewards disqualified Vino Rosso for interference in the stretch.
Code of Honor finished seventh in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic in his final start as a 3-year-old.
Returning from a layoff of seven months in the Grade 3 Westchester Stakes June 6 at Belmont Park, Code of Honor rallied powerfully in deep stretch to reel in Endorsed en route to a half-length victory under John Velazquez in his 4-year-old debut. He followed with a third-place finish in the Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap and then ran fourth in the Grade 1 Whitney Stakes Aug. 1 at Saratoga. McGaughey cut Code of Honor back to a mile for the one-turn, Grade 2 Kelso Handicap and he finished second to Complexity on Oct. 3 at Belmont Park.
Grade 3 winner Reunited, by Dixie Union, is the dam (mother) of Code of Honor.