Under a savvy ride by youthful veteran Flavien Prat, the British-bred ridgling Program Trading rolled late to come away a neck winner in the Hollywood Derby (G1) Saturday afternoon at Del Mar.
Bred in Great Britain by Fittocks Stud and Arrow Farm and Stud, Program Trading is out of the Oasis Dream mare Dreamlike. He was $356,551 purchase by Mike Ryan, agent, at the 2021 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale and prepped for his lucrative 2023 campaign at the Hidden Brook Florida training center.
The son of Lope de Vega campaigned by Klaravich Stable Inc. was sent west for the race by trainer Chad Brown. He was well behind early in the field of seven 3-year-olds in the nine-furlong turf test, but was maneuvered to the front near the eighth pole, then responded to Prat’s urgings to hold off hard-charging Webslinger nearing the wire. Over the summer, Program Trading denied a breakthrough Grade 1 win to Webslinger, when he defeated him by a head in the Saratoga Derby Invitational (G1) Aug. 5.
Finishing third in the Hollywood Derby was Silver Knott, 2 1/4 lengths behind Webslinger.
“He was actually pretty relaxed before the race,” Prat said. “We had a good trip; the pace was pretty fair. He relaxed well, he had a good turn of foot. Luckily there was a horse in front of me that bolted around the turn, so I had a clear path. As soon as I asked him to make a run, he was there for me. I think he will still improve. He has run well every time.”
The winner, who went off at 9-10, paid $3.80 after covering the nine panels in 1:47.82 on firm turf. He earned a first prize of $180,000 from the gross purse of $301,000 to increase his bankroll to $695,520. It was his fourth victory from his fifth career start.
Brown was winning his fourth Hollywood Derby; Prat won his first. Program Trading is among the 17 black type horses and 2 Grade 1 winners in 2023 who have emerged from Hidden Brook Florida.
-edited from www.PaulickReport.com