A stacked afternoon of racing takes place at Del Mar on Saturday, but the biggest purse will be on offer in the G1 Hollywood Derby. This race will be run over 1 1/8 miles on the turf, with horses aged three able to compete for the prize fund of $300,000. It promises to be an interesting race in prospect, with a number of possible runners likely to line up in the G1 Pegasus World Cup Turf in late January.
History & Records
The Hollywood Derby has been staged since 1938, with the editions of the race up to 2013 being run at Hollywood Park Racetrack. However, since the closure of the track, the Grade 1 has been staged at Del Mar.
One of the most historic feats in the race was achieved by California Chrome in 2014, as the three-year-old added turf success to his CV after previously landing wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Bill Shoemaker is the most successful jockey in the history of the race with eight wins, while Charlie Whittingham is the leading trainer with four victories.
Chad Brown will be searching for a record-equaling fourth win in the Hollywood Derby this weekend, and he looks to hold an excellent chance in the form of Program Trading.
The three-year-old has won three from four career starts, which includes a victory by a head over reappearing rival Webslinger in the G1 Saratoga Derby in August. He achieved a career-best speed figure on his previous start when finishing second to Integration on his first start over 1 1/8 miles in the G3 Virginia Derby. A repeat effort will make him a solid chance this weekend.
Richard Mandella also has a strong chance in the Hollywood Derby this weekend, as Seal Team could boast the best form line in the race. The three-year-old was beaten on his debut over five furlongs in late November 2022, but he came back to the track in stunning fashion in early October. That excellent form continued in November, as he landed the G2 Twilight Derby.
On that day, he caught many of his rivals unawares at the start, and that was ultimately pivotal, as he finished half-a-length clear of Silver Knott over 1 1/8 miles at Saratoga. But, backing up that effort this weekend could be a more challenging assignment.
European-trained runners dominated the turf races at the Breeders’ Cup in 2023, and Charlie Appleby will be looking to continue that trend with a runner in the Hollywood Derby this weekend. The three-year-old has been a regular runner Stateside since his second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in 2022, with his best runs coming in the U.S.
However, wins have been hard to achieve with Silver Knott, evident once again when he failed to kick on to challenge for the win in the G2 Twilight Derby in early November. But, on his day, he has all the ability in the world to land victory in this kind of race, and he shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Hollywood Derby Prediction
While Brown holds obvious claims with Program Trading this weekend, he could have a very interesting contender at a much bigger price. Redistricting had been highly regarded by connections throughout this season, and looks more than capable of springing a surprise this weekend.
He was thrown into Grade 1 company on just his second career start, finishing seventh over 1 ¼ miles in the Belmont Derby. However, he put that setback behind him to get back to winning ways over 1 1/16 miles on his previous start, scoring a speed figure of 104 when winning in allowance company. This weekend’s race could be perfectly set up for him, with Silver Knott and Program Trading interesting plays in Exotics.
Pick: Redistricting (at BetDSI)
Trifecta Box: Redistricting/ Silver Knott/ Program Trading