Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey confirmed that Grade II winner Honor Code is off the Kentucky Derby trail after a slight tear of his right hind upper suspensory was detected Sunday morning.
Second in his 3-year-old debut on March 12, Honor Code had breezed a half-mile in 49.12 on Saturday in preparation for a start in the Grade I Wood Memorial on April 5 at Aqueduct.
"It will heal," said McGaughey. "We discovered it this morning. We'll give it 60 days and then re-evaluate it."
The injury to Honor Code leaves McGaughey, who won his first Kentucky Derby last year with Orb, without a top contender for the first leg of the Triple Crown this year. McGaughey's other leading prospect, Top Billing, is currently sidelined after undergoing surgery for a cracked cannon bone in his right front earlier this month.
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A son of A.P. Indy owned by Lane's End Racing and breeder Dell Ridge Farm, Honor Code captured the Grade II Remsen Stakes over eventual Holy Bull Stakes winner Cairo Prince by a nose last November. The dark bay ridgling missed training time in February due to bruising of his hind ankles and ran second, beaten 10 lengths by Social Inclusion when he made his seasonal bow in a 11⁄16-miles allowance race at Gulfstream Park on March 12.
Honor Code has two wins from four career starts and was also second in the Grade I Champagne Stakes last October.