Santa Anita Derby winner Honor A.P. suffered an apparent injury in the Kentucky Derby, immediately sending him to Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky where his stud career awaits.
The tendon injury apparently happened during the Derby, according to trainer John Shirreffs.
“Honor A.P. is a horse with an immense talent. He was so forward and precocious that he broke his maiden second time out by over five lengths going two turns,” Shirreffs said in a statement. “He ran a super race in the Derby and we later found that he came out of the race with an injury, so all things considered, what he accomplished was something special.”
Shirreffs refers to Honor A.P.’s fourth-place Derby finish. There, he overcame a horrible start from post 16 and a bad trip, rallying to finish fourth as the 7/1 second choice. En route, he posted a 99 Beyer Speed Figure while traveling 49 more feet than eventual winner Authentic. When you account for ground loss, Honor A.P. ran the fastest race in the field.
The Only Horse to Beat Authentic
The Honor Code progeny retires with two victories and three seconds in six career starts. That fourth in the Derby marked his only failure to hit the board. Notably, Honor A.P. retires as the only horse to beat Authentic, which he did with his Santa Anita Derby victory in June. The ridgling posted a 102 Beyer in that race, following that with a 102 Beyer in his penultimate race, the Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar in early August.
With that second-place finish as the 1/5 favorite, Honor A.P. became one of only four 3-year-olds to clock multiple triple-digit Beyers going a mile or longer.
“Honor A.P. showed brilliance as a 2-year-old from the first time I saw him train and replicated it as a 3-year-old, defeating the future Kentucky Derby winner,” Shirreffs said.
Honor A.P. and Authentic Put Up Entertaining Races
Honor A.P. broke his maiden in his second start. He built a nice rivalry with Authentic, taking on the eventual Derby champion three times in his six career races. The first came at the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park in March, where a minor foot injury hampered Honor A.P. into a second-place finish. He turned the tables three months later in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, putting his long strides to good purpose down the stretch.
That victory put Honor A.P. into the same company as his grandsire, A.P. Indy.
Honor Code’s highest-priced yearling at $850,000, Honor A.P. retires as Honor Code’s leading second-crop product in terms of earnings ($532,200). Honor Code is one of four second-crop sires producing a 2020 Grade 1 winner, a list that includes Tiz the Law’s sire, Constitution.
“Honor A. P. was a ‘wow’ horse from the beginning. He was the highest-priced yearling in Honor Code’s first crop. He was a standout 2-year-old at April Mayberry’s and the most recognizable horse in training at Santa Anita,” said Lane’s End owner Bill Farish. “His stunning good looks paired with his obvious talent make him just the type of prospect we are looking for at Lane’s End.”
Honor A.P. begins his stud career in early 2021. His fee is yet to be determined.
A “minor foot injury” in March and a career ending injury in the KY Derby – and yet he goes to the breeding shed? If soundness counts for so little, we will see more break downs on the tack and more public outcry against the sport.