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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

Hurry Up Shug!

Continuation from Derby Profile Two article.

The unraced two year old in Shug McGaughey's barn, Code Name, has taken residence down in Florida.

He posted a 3f workout at Payson Park Training Center on 12/12. Unimpressive was the work, but most likely an easy gallop to get his legs moving. If Shug doesn't want to jinx this horse with the Apollo Curse, he has only 2 weeks to get a maiden race under this two year old's belt. Time is ticking.

We're getting down to the wire here. On top of that, the Gulfstream bias will surely be an extravagant "against the grain" test for Code Name. Prior to scratching a couple weeks ago, at least Aqueduct would have not been such a tall hurdle with his pedigree.

Now down in Florida, this will truly be a much harder speed test for this guy's first fire from the gate.

Hopefully, if Shug does get him that first race as a 2 year old at Gulfstream, he will not enter him in a 6f contest against heavily advantaged speedsters on that fast bias. Lead sprinters on that surface at such a short distance will have such a heightened advantage over this stamina-drenched toddler. Hoping we see a mile debut, but even 7f is better than 6f for this guy on that track.

Code Name's 3/4 brother, Code of Honor, was tasked to run his first maiden at Saratoga. He took the lead and never looked back. Incredible 6f maiden win which set the wheels in motion with a bias that was fitting to what Noble Mission bestowed upon him.

He then took second at Belmont Park in the Champagne Stakes after stumbling at the start coming from dead last. Easily, that horse would have annihilated that crew had he escaped the gate unscathed, but he showed his early determination by getting up to that wire.

Third race he was tasked to run, against the grain at Gulfstream Park, a bias that was not conducive to his pedigree. He only managed a 4th place in the Mucho Macho Man stakes but then came back to demolish the field in the Fountain of Youth.

That was the pure evidence of a horse who could tackle both sides of the scale, with no bias preference, as he gained experience on his road to Kentucky.

With Code Name, it appears he will be thrown to the wolves first time out if his trainer is looking to get this potential superstar a race before the New Year occurs. Code of Honor first raced in Mid-August as a two-year-old and also had a Grade One contest under his belt before turning three. For Code Name, superstition with the curse could override potential talent.

Code Name is not built for the Gulfstream bias in a short maiden race. His sprinting foes will relish the distance and the track, testing him to his core. It took Code of Honor two races on that surface and an 8.5f track to find his advantage there. He also was able to throw several workouts on that track before hitting it big in his prep race, The Fountain of Youth. Not the case here.

There is no comparison now with relation to training/experience for Code Name. He will be thrown into it with a much heavier disadvantage unless that maiden is run at a much longer distance than 6 or 6.5f.

On the one hand, it helps us gauge his speed capacity against the grain with a much stronger validation quicker. On the other hand, it could hinder an otherwise potential superstar.

If Code Name has "too much" disadvantage in his maiden, (a short maiden distance and adverse bias) this could affect his will and determination for future contests. It could affect his confidence level. It could also affect his connection's confidence level as well, and hinder placement on the Derby Road in favor of allowance races for the rest of his career.

I certainly make absolutely no claim to know things that only a trainer could know. I can only view things from a pedigree perspective using common sense.

Code Name is the son of Noble Mission, who is a full brother to turf-superstar Frankel. He was also named the 2014 Cartier Champion Older Horse overseas.

Grandson of Galileo, who was named the Cartier Champion 3-year-old and won his maiden by 14 lengths. One of the best-bred colts of his time, winning at 10 and 12f Graded stakes races overseas.

Great Grandson of Sadler's Wells. With 11 starts, 6 wins, 4 places, at races from 7f to 12f, and the 1984 Champion Miler in France, he was also the leading UK sire by earnings for years.

Code Name has 11.7f inbred into him. He has turf inbred into him. He has stamina through the roof. The slick "short" Gulfstream track is completely against him for his first time out.

If any potential superstar were to be tested to the extreme in his debut, look no further.

This article will be updated (hopefully soon) with specifics concerning a Gulfstream Maiden Race and the outcome.


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