Chad Brown likes to send horses west for late-season turf stakes and will be well-represented with a pair in Saturday’s $300,000 Hollywood Derby (G1) at Del Mar. The reigning two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer has multiple graded stakes winner Raging Bull and turf debuter Instilled Regard among a full field of 14 three-year-olds in the 1 1/8-mile affair.
Raging Bull displayed an outstanding late kick posting victories in his first two graded stakes attempts, the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (G2) and Saranac (G3) at Saratoga, but will be seeking a measure of redemption following a sixth at 2-5 odds in the October 6 Hill Prince (G2) at Belmont Park. The French-bred son of Dark Angel remains a very promising candidate for the older turf horse ranks in 2019 and Joel Rosario retains the mount.
Instilled Regard opened 2018 with a sharp win in the Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds. Following a pair of fourths in the Risen Star (G2) and Santa Anita Derby (G1), the Arch colt rallied to complete the superfecta in the Kentucky Derby (G1) at 85-1 odds. He was never factor making his first start for Brown off a near five-month freshening, finishing last in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1), and the dirt-to-turf switch based upon pedigree: Instilled Regard hails from the Forestry mare Enhancing, a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 turf scorer Good Reward, winner of the 2004 Hollywood Derby. Florent Geroux picks up the assignment.
Twilight Derby (G2) victor River Boyne leads the local contingent. An Irish import, the sophomore colt has recorded three stakes wins from his last four starts, a third as the favorite in the Del Mar Derby (G2) being the lone setback. Regular rider Flavien Prat will be up for Jeff Mullins.
Hill Prince upsetter Have At It, second in the November 4 Twilight Derby at Santa Anita, will return to Southern California for Christophe Clement. David Cohen retakes the reins on the chestnut son of Kitten’s Joy. Carrick rates as another intriguing invader. Based in New York with Tom Morley, the Secretariat (G1) winner was no factor when stepping up to face elders in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) but fits at this level with his best. He gets a new rider in Kent Desormeaux.
Californiagoldrush, who exits a win in the September 15 Sands Point (G2) at Belmont Park, will try male rivals for Neil Drysdale. Three-for-four in her career, the lone being a third in the Del Mar Oaks (G1), the Cape Blanco filly must overcome the far outside post with Rafael Bejarano,
Other contenders include Del Mar Derby runner-up Kazan; Desert Stone, a fast-closing third in the Twilight Derby; Irish Group 3 winner Platinum Warrior, fifth when making his first start for John Sadler in the Twilight Derby; and Risky Proposition, who tries graded company off an upset win in the November 10 Let It Ride at Del Mar.