The horse who stood atop of our first Preakness Top Ten Contenders list won’t be traveling to Pimlico to take on the race. In fact he won’t be racing again as the Grade I winner is being retired to stud following the discovery of a tendon injury following his return to his stables after the Kentucky Derby.
Honor A.P. won the Santa Anita Derby over Authentic and promptly was taken away from the Road to the Kentucky Derby having easily amassed the qualification points to train for the big race under John Shirreffs. One prep run at the four-horse Shared Belief Stakes was put in place where he was surprisingly beaten by Thousand Words. Still he went into the Derby as the second favorite behind Belmont winner Tiz the Law.
He got blocked off out of the gate but still came good late to finish fourth and give our in-house handicapper plenty of optimism that Honor A.P. would be the horse to beat come the Preakness.
Writing after the Derby, our in-house handicapper wrote the following about Honor A.P.:
I believe he ran the best race of anyone in the Kentucky Derby. He got absolutely clobbered coming out of the gate and was left near the back of a strung out field, immediately putting him in a near-impossible position as he’d never been more than three lengths behind the leader in his route races.
From there, Honor A. P. proceeded to go very wide around both turns and was really the only one making up ground in the stretch. This combination of ground loss and a disastrous start suggest that he’s many lengths better than his finish would indicate, and with a better trip I believe he would have won. Hopefully we’ll get to find out in the Preakness.
Honor A.P. will enter stud next year at Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky having ended his six race career with two wins from six starts.