HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. — Code of Honor went to the lead midway through the stretch and won the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes on Saturday, more than likely clinching a spot in the Kentucky Derby with the performance.
Code of Honor finished the 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream Park in 1 minute, 43.85 seconds for trainer Shug McGaughey and jockey John Velazquez. It was the first time that McGaughey and Velazquez won the Fountain of Youth since 2013 – when Orb prevailed, on his way to winning the Kentucky Derby two months later.
Bourbon War was second and Vekoma finished third.
The win was worth 50 points in the Kentucky Derby qualifying standings for Code of Honor, and that will likely be enough to secure one of the 20 spots in the field at Churchill Downs on May 4.
“It was impressive for him to run a race like this,” Velazquez said.
Code of Honor returned $21, $8.60 and $5.40. Bourbon War paid $5 and $3.20, and Vekoma returned $3.60.
Code of Honor could race next in the Florida Derby on March 30, also at Gulfstream.