HRFLA Staff Report
Greatest Honour, the winner of this year’s Holy Bull (Grade 3) and Fountain of Youth (Grade 2) at Gulfstream Park, will not run in the Kentucky Derby (Grade 1) on May 1 and likely will miss the other two Triple Crown races.
Shug McGaughey, trainer of Greatest Honour, announced that decision on Wednesday.
An examination and X-rays this week showed nothing that would require surgery, McGaughey told the Daily Racing Form.
McGaughey said Greatest Honour was banged up near the ankles. He added that he did not feel comfortable with the way the 3-year-old colt had been galloping in recent days.
Greatest Honour’s most recent race was a third place finish in the Florida Derby (Grade 1) on March 27 at Gulfstream in Hallandale Beach, Fla.
(Photo on home page is Greatest Honour winning the Holy Bull on Jan. 30)
McGaughey said he plans to give Greatest Honour a break from heavy training for about 60 days.
That would keep the son of Tapit out of the Preakness Stakes (Grade 1) on May 15 and the Belmont Stakes on June 5.
The Kentucky Derby will be run at 1 1/4 miles at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
Greatest Honour has 70 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, all earned in the three graded stakes at Gulfstream. He is eighth in the standings with 70 points.
That would have given him enough points to make the 20-horse field where he would have been among the favorites.
On Jan. 30, Greatest Honour won the Holy Bull by 5 3/4 lengths over Tarantino. On Feb. 28, he won the Fountain of Youth by two lengths over Drain the Clock.
He rallied from mid-pack in both 1 1/16 mile races–displaying a stride and the stamina that led bettors to make him the 4-5 favorite in the 1 1/8 mile Florida Derby.
But Greatest Honour’s late run was not as strong as in the two previous Gulfstream stakes, He finished third, 5 3/4 lengths behind the winner Known Agenda with Soup and Sandwich finishing second.
Jose Ortiz rode Greatest Honour in all three stakes races.
McGaughey did not specify plans for Greatest Honour after the 60-day break. But if the horse is back in training in June, it could put him in line for major summer stakes such as the Travers (Grade 1) at Saratoga.
Greatest Honour has three wins. one second place finish and three third place finishes. He has career earnings of $422,440.
Greatest Honour is owned by Courtlandt Farms whose principals Donald and Donna Adams live in Texas.