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Greatest Honour ‘Good’ to Go in Florida Derby Prep
Greatest Honour (Credit: Coglianese Photos / Ryan Thompson)

Greatest Honour ‘Good’ to Go in Florida Derby Prep

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey was dreaming of a bright future for Greatest Honour as he watched the 3-year-old son of Tapit school in the Gulfstream Park paddock and walking ring without turning a hair between races on Wednesday.

“He’s developed a lot. I was just sitting there thinking if he goes through the winter and spring and keep going in that direction, he can be good,” McGaughey said.

Saturday’s $200,000 Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park is in Greatest Honour’s immediate future.

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Greatest Honour finished a late-closing third while sprinting in his first 2 starts before stretching out two turns at Aqueduct November 8 to finish second, beaten by just a head by Known Agenda, who went on to finish third in the Remsen (G2). The Courtlandt Farms homebred broke through to graduate, closing from seventh to win going away in a 1 1/16-mile maiden test at Gulfstream December 26.

“The farther, the better for him. I think he can run all day,” McGaughey said. “He’s got enough of a kick that if he gets a little pace, he can challenge here.”

McGaughey’s also confident that the more experience he gets, the better Greatest Honour will be.

“He’s a Tapit, so we had to work around some things, but he’s really good now,” said McGaughey, who named Jose Ortiz to ride Greatest Honour.

McGaughey will seek to add the Holy Bull to the extensive list of achievements on his Hall of Fame resume that includes victories in the Fountain of Youth (G2) and Florida Derby (G1) with Orb in 2014. Orb went on to give McGaughey his first Kentucky Derby (G1) success.

“Their running styles are similar – they both come from behind, but pedigree and looks-wise they’re different. This horse is taller, while Orb was more compact,” McGaughey said.

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