First-year stallion Code of Honor brings an outstanding race record upon his retirement to the farm where he was born and raised, and we are excited to send the proven producer I’m Engaged his way in 2022.
An on-the-pace debut winner going 6 furlongs at Saratoga for Shug McGaughey as a 2YO, Code of Honor was 2nd in the historic G1 Champagne second-time out. He won the G2 Fountain of Youth and was 3rd in the G1 Florida Derby on the Triple Crown trail, before a 3rd-place finish (elevated to 2nd on Maximum Security’s DQ) in the Run For the Roses. His Derby placing was followed by an easy win in the G3 Dwyer and an open-lengths victory in the G1 Travers, before he was elevated to victory after being interfered with by Vino Rosso in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup. Code of Honor came back at 4 to win the G3 Westchester, finish 2nd in the G1 Clark and G2 Kelso, and 3rd in the G1 Met Mile, and at 5YO he won the G3 Iselin and was 2nd in the G2 Fayette, retiring with earnings of $2.98 million.
The fact that Code of Honor raced exclusively on dirt is surprising given that he is a son of the multiple G1-winning European champion Noble Mission (a full-brother to the UK’s current leading sire, Frankel), though he is out of a mare by Dixie Union, so there’s some dirt influence there. But it is actually the combination of Code of Honor’s race record and Noble Mission’s pedigree that makes him so intriguing as a stallion prospect.
And what makes him so intriguing to us as a mate for I’m Engaged, in particular. Her three winning offspring are all turf winners, despite her own dirt-leaning pedigree (by Broken Vow out of a half-sister to a pair of dirt stakes winners, with her dam a half to undefeated dirt star Flanders). We hope the blend of these versatile lines will produce a top-class foal, whatever the surface, and their is plenty in the pedigrees of both Code of Honor and I’m Engaged to suggest they should mesh well.
Firstly, the Galileo/Unbridled cross rates an “A” on TrueNicks and has accounted for the likes of G1 winners Grenadier Guards (by Noble Mission’s brother Frankel) and Sixties Song among 8 stakes winners from 92 runners.
Furthermore, I’m Engaged is a half-sister to G2 winner Fiery Pursuit, who is in turn the dam of stakes-placed Lawn Party, by Medaglia d’Oro (a grandson of Noble Mission’s grandsire Sadler’s Wells), and a half-sister to Lawn Party is the dam of G1-placed stakes winner The Virginian, who is by Hinchinbrook (he a grandson of Danehill, who is Noble Mission’s broodmare sire). And further back in the pedigree is the multiple stakes winner and G3-placed Miss Double D’Oro, also by Medaglia d’Oro; not to mention that I’m Engaged’s whole page is dotted with stakes winners by a variety of Northern Dancer-line stallions more broadly (and her own two best runners are by sons of War Front, he a Northern Dancer grandson himself).
Finally, we see a lot to recommend this mating physically, as well. Code of Honor is tall and leggy, whereas I’m Engaged is medium-sized herself but throws foals with plenty of size and substance — which should make for a nice blend in their foal, just like the versatility of their respective pedigrees.