Program Trading in the Dec. 2 Hollywood Derby (G1T) proved that trainer Chad Brown can take him anywhere. The talented sophomore increased his as-yet brief record to four wins and one second in five starts, while competing at a different racetrack each time.
Especially for a trainer shipping in from New York, Brown does exceptionally well at Del Mar‘s fall Turf Festival. With Program Trading, the conditioner was winning his fourth Hollywood Derby, following Annals of Time in 2016, Raging Bull in 2018, and Domestic Spending in 2020.
Bettors paid attention, pegging Program Trading, already a grade 1 winner, as the 9-10 favorite in the 1 1/8-mile Derby against six rivals. The field included Redistricting , also trained by Brown. Seth Klarman’s Klaravich Stables owns both Brown runners.
Silver Knott , trained by Charlie Appleby and coming off a second in the Nov. 4 Twilight Derby (G2) at Santa Anita, took the lead not long after the start. Santorini , most recently third in the Oct. 28 Bryan Station Stakes (G3T) at Keeneland, pressed the pace through a first quarter-mile in :23.17 and a half-mile in :47.19.
Jockey Flavien Prat was content to keep Program Trading well back in sixth, different tactics from when the two won the Saratoga Derby Invitational Stakes (G1) on the lead.
“He was actually pretty relaxed before the race,” said Prat. “We had a good trip; the pace was pretty fair.”
Program Trading had come from behind in his only loss, closing well to finish second in the Sept. 9 Virginia Derby (G3T) at Colonial Downs. This time he roared up on the turn with a momentum that took him past rivals quickly.
As the field turned for home, Silver Knott was still on the lead, ultimately holding on to finish third. But he could not deny Program Trading, who surged ahead only to have to fend off another closer, Webslinger . Program Trading hit the wire a neck in front of Webslinger and stopped the timer in 1:47.82. The two had run one-two in the Saratoga Derby as well.
“As soon as I asked him to make a run, he was there for me,” said Prat. “I think he will still improve.”
Jose Hernandez, an assistant to Brown, noted, “The pace was fast, and he settled down a little bit on the backside. He was a little behind in the post parade–he was playing.”
Redistricting, Brown’s other runner, lugged out badly on the final turn, was pulled up, and did not finish. He walked off under his own power.
Klaravich was winning a third Hollywood Derby, having owned Domestic Spending and being a partner in Annals of Time. The pattern has worked well–all three of the Klaravich/Brown Hollywood Derby winners have come into the race lightly raced, but with graded stakes wins or placings. Program Trading and Domestic Spending captured the same Derby double, taking the Saratoga Derby in the summer and the Hollywood Derby in the fall.
Domestic Spending and Program Trading have even more in common, as bloodstock agent Mike Ryan bought both British-breds at the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale. Fittocks Stud & Arrow Farm & Stud bred Program Trading, and Fittocks Stud consigned him to sale, where Ryan purchased him for 250,000 guineas.
Program Trading is the first stakes winner and one of two winners in three starters for the Oasis Dream mare Dreamlike . A winner once in six starts with three seconds, Dreamlike is a half sister to group 2 winner Silk Sari . Program Trading’s third dam is Irish champion Gossamer , a full sister to 1994 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1T) winner Barathea .
Program Trading is by Lope de Vega , whose 2023 runners include Silver Knott, Tancred Stakes (G1) winner Arapaho in Australia, and multiple graded winner Carl Spackler . Brown trains Spackler, and he also trained 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1T) winner Newspaperofrecord , another runner by the stallion. Lope de Vega will stand for a 2024 stud fee of 125,000 euros at Ballylinch Stud in Thomastown, Ireland.