Back in September of 2018, I posted an article entitled "Code of Honor, a Royal Flush" which emphasized the incredible breeding of Code of Honor after Brian pointed him out. The results of his 6f Maiden win on 8/18/18 foretold what this horse had under his belt in terms of speed and coupled with his breeding there was no doubt that this guy had the makings of a Champion. After today's Dwyer Stakes performance, I don't believe there is a finer 3 year old out there than him. This horse has just begun.
We are now entering into Round Two of this guy’s career and everything is beginning to align correctly. His breeding, as described in that first article, is about to shine. When a horse is built with an optimum distance of 11.9f and he has the raw speed to compete and dominate the advantaged speed horses in the gates next to him, you know you are looking at a superstar.
Horses like Gun Runner, Shared Belief, Animal Kingdom, Le Vent Se Leve, Invasor, etc. all possessed dominant stamina and had the raw talent, the class and the determination to conquer distances that they were not bred for. It is that special type of stamina horse who, from the very beginning, stands out among the speedy pretenders. They are so rare and when they finally show up, there is nothing better. They are the type that thrive as time and distance progresses. Stamina dominance with the ability to show off wicked speed is a recipe for success.
Code of Honor has the inherited capacity to dominate fast tracks, wet tracks, clean tracks, dirt, synthetic and turf because of his breeding. Born with class and with a list of superior chefs and unstoppable bloodlines, Code of Honor has everything he needs to win the Breeders Cup Classic and the Pegasus World Cup and he will be the one to beat. There are none besides Thunder Snow that can compare to him. The breeding between these two is top notch. From the very beginning, none had the backing of such magnificent balance with charts that exploded with power.
It is July 7th, 2019 and I will say now, this may just be the easiest Breeders Cup Classic we have seen since 11/1/2014. If all goes as planned, I already know, my exacta will be Code of Honor and Thunder Snow. My super will have those two alone on top.
The speed/stamina balance of Code of Honor and Thunder Snow are close to exact and puts a stamp on the potential and capability of the two. Their numbers are almost spot on exact which means their distance capability when combined are the same. We know how that balance affects the dominance of Thunder Snow from his previous races which means that balance goes hand in hand with Code of Honor.
Jumping back a few years, the 2017 Kentucky Derby was littered with the absolute worst sets of dosage numbers I believe I have ever seen. With the exception of Classic Empire and Lookin at Lee, (and Battle of Midway for the sloppy track) most every contender had serious problems with their inheritance as it pertained to the standards of the Derby. The only one with standout superior breeding was Thunder Snow. Unfortunate for Snow that the track ended up being a river of mud, because on a clean track there would have been no stopping that horse. In the 2017 Derby Analysis article, I wrote of Thunder Snow:
"Amazing amount of inbred stamina from his chefs set him so far apart in this group. Talk about standout, look at that 24 in the Classic Triads Slot. He has, without question, been the recipient of pure Royalty. He should walk that post parade with a Crown on his head with trumpets blowing in the background and standing ovations for his breeder."
I would say DITTO for Code of Honor.
The two horses are configured close to exact when it comes to their speed/stamina balance. Here are the number comparisons:
CHEFS DOSAGE PROFILE:
Thunder Snow: 2-1-11-4-0 (18)
Code of Honor: 3-1-11-7-0 (22)
Note the first two slots, Brilliant and Intermediate categories. That is a severe lack in inherited short early speed with high inheritance of stamina as the distances progress. The configurations of both of these profiles are close to exact, with Code of Honor gaining slightly extra blood in the Solid category.
Thunder Snow: 0.89
Code of Honor: 0.76
Both indexes depict less than 1x the amount of speed over stamina. Between the 2, Thunder Snow has slightly higher speed inheritance. Also, with such low indexes coupled with the configurations of the above 5 digit profiles, shows that the running form of both could favor a late running style. The chefs are dominate at further distances which in some cases a horse will run exactly how his numbers fall. Since the mare profile is dominate both early and late, both Thunder Snow and Code of Honor are given the opportunity to favor one or the other or both. It appears so far that Code of Honor can gravitate to either side if he so chooses within any given race. In the Champagne Stakes and the Dwyer Stakes, Code showed his ability to gravitate to his chefs while in his maiden he showed he could gravitate to his mares. He has the ability to capitalize from both sides which is a strong advantage when any circumstance within any given race presents itself. In other words, Code of Honor has shown his ability to pull from both sides in order to get the job done no matter what unfolds within any given race. Most likely, the chefs (late running dominant) coupled with mares (both early and late running) will skew to late running dominance as the colt continues to mature into himself.
Thunder Snow: 0.06
Code of Honor: 0.00
The center of Distribution from the chefs is close to exact on that scale. They basically both gained an optimum distance (from the chefs alone) at exactly 11.f. From the chefs, both Snow and Code sit dead center on that scale which puts them directly in the middle of the Classic distance (10-11-12f). The addition of the mares is where the inherited speed comes into play. The balance for both is activated into perfection.
MARES DOSAGE PROFILE:
Thunder Snow: 2-10-3-11-5
Code of Honor: 2-10-2-13-5
These two sets of profiles are almost exact. The speed that both gained comes directly from that 10 in the Intermediate slots.
Thunder Snow: Speed = 12 Stamina = 16
Code of Honor: Speed = 12 Stamina = 18
The speed inheritance for both from their mares is exact. The stamina falls slightly higher for Code of Honor.
Thunder Snow = 0.71
Code of Honor = 0.64
Because of the extra stamina that Code of Honor gained in the Solid slot, his index falls a bit lower than Thunder Snow which means that the inheritance potential for Code would allow him a slight edge over Snow in endurance. Both can travel basically the same distance within a given race but the extra shot of stamina may come into play if either needed to travel further from the rail when competing. It is a slight advantage for Code in that regard but they both end up balanced basically the same regardless.
Thunder Snow = 15-24-19
Code of Honor = 14-25-20
The triads are almost exact, balanced exact and both are magnificent. The Classic center coupled with higher inheritance in longer distance endurance for both truly stand alone among other present Graded Stakes competitors out there. Even though both lean heavily to stamina from the important mares in their charts, they have both demonstrated early speed to win their races and late speed to win their races. This is a true sign of serious champion quality.
COMBINED OPTIMUM DISTANCE CAPABILITY
Thunder Snow = 11.75f
Code of Honor = 11.9f
The great Frederico Tesio believed that inherited characteristics were divided 60% in favor of sire influence and 40% mare influence. The above numbers for distance capability are averaged at 50-50. If we take it from Tesio's rule, we could drop that capability down a few notches for both but it would still remain in favor of the Classic distance either way. Both Code of Honor and Thunder Snow have serious breeding and both are built perfectly for the Breeders Cup Classic. The experience of Thunder Snow up against the power of a budding champion will make this year’s Classic one for the history books.
There is not one other Classic probable with the breeding or the balance, the speed and the stamina of these two guys on this side of the ocean. Nothing should stop Code of Honor at Saratoga which is greatly in his favor not only because he has an agreeable setup for that track bias but because others have such a disagreeable setup in the stalls next to him. With Le Vent Se Leve most likely out of the picture, Code of Honor and Thunder Snow are the ones to watch this summer for the Breeders Classic.
ST. SIMON CONNECTION
The top 4 influences from both charts line-breed directly to St. Simon. In addition, out of the 4 top influencers for both, three of them are the exact same. The top influence for both is Northern Dancer with Thunder Snow at 16.41% and Code of Honor at 15.63%. That is about as close as you can get.
Northern Dancer → St. Simon = 16.41%
Nureyev → Nearco → St.Simon = 18.75%
Natalma → St. Simon = 8.01%
Special → St. Simon = 8.59%
Code of Honor:
Northern Dancer → St. Simon = 15.63%
Natalma → St Simon = 9.38%
Blushing Groom → St. Simon = 9.38%
Nearco → St. Simon = 8.40%