Pedigree profile: Unbridled Honor

May 7th, 2021

Triple Crown contender Unbridled Honor isn’t the most accomplished three-year-old in training — at least, not yet.

But he’s made steady progress, with a runner-up effort in the Lexington (G3) at Keeneland among his highlights. Given enough time, Unbridled Honor might eventually grow into the top-class pedigree he brings to the table.

Unbridled Honor is a son of Honor Code, who matured early enough to win the 1 1/8-mile Remsen (G2) as a juvenile. But despite his early success, Honor Code didn’t find his best stride until the age of four, when he rattled off victories in the Metropolitan H. (G1), Whitney (G1), and Gulfstream Park H. (G2) to earn champion older dirt male honors.

A son of Belmont (G1) winner and stamina influence A.P. Indy, Honor Code was arguably best between one mile and 1 1/8 miles, perhaps because his dam — the Storm Cat mare Serena’s Cat — was a stakes-winning turf sprinter. Honor Code’s stakes-winning half-siblings Noble Tune and Declarationofpeace were also best on turf. Noble Tune shaped up as a miler and Declarationofpeace proved best as a sprinter.

But at stud, Honor Code appears to be taking after A.P. Indy more than Serena’s Cat. His best foals have thrived running one mile or farther on dirt, led by 1 1/8-mile Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Honor A. P. and 1 1/8-mile Withers (G3) victor Max Player, who placed in the 1 1/4-mile Travers (G1).

The bottom half of Unbridled Honor’s pedigree leans in a similar direction. Unbridled Honor is the first foal produced by Silvery Starlet, who broke her maiden in a 1 1/16-mile race over the Gulfstream Park turf course. A capable turf miler, Silvery Starlet was produced by the unraced Silver Deputy mare Silvery Swan, whose other foals include Cigar Mile H. (G1) winner El Corredor, 1 1/8-mile Haskell H. (G1) winner Roman Ruler, and 1 1/16-mile Reeve Schley Jr. (G3) winner Silver Tornado.

Silver Starlet’s sire, Unbridled’s Song, needs no introduction. North America’s leading sire of 2017 is best known for siring Arrogate, who flaunted classic stamina when he posted sensational victories in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Dubai World Cup (G1), and Travers over 1 1/4 miles. But Unbridled’s Song also sired three winners of the 1 1/8-mile Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), plus Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Midshipman, Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) victor Liam’s Map, and champion three-year-old Will Take Charge.

As a broodmare sire, Unbridled’s Song continues to exert a profound influence. His daughters foaled Japanese Triple Crown winner Contrail, Japan Cup (G1) winner Suave Richard, Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) winner Tourist, Santa Anita H. (G1) winner Gift Box, and champion female sprinter Unique Bella.

Unbridled Honor hails from a rich family of elite racehorses. He is bred to thrive at 1 1/8 miles or farther, and if things don’t work out on dirt, he can always give the lawn a try. There are enough turf influences in Unbridled Honor’s immediate lineage to suggest he could develop into a capable grass performer.