Kentucky Derby Undercard II: Program Trading Wins Turf Classic

Program Trading outdueled Naval Power in the final furlong and won the $1 million Turf Classic (G1) for 4-year-olds and up by a head on Saturday at Churchill Downs prior to Kentucky Derby (G1).

The 4-year-old ridgling is now 3-for-3 in Grade 1s (5-of-6 overall), having won the Saratoga Derby as a 3-year-old and the Hollywood Derby at Del Mar.

Flavien Prat Leads Program Trading to Victory

Program Trading, the 4-1 third choice in the field of 10, returned $10.18 for a $2 win bet. Ridden by Flavien Prat, Program Trading was in tight quarters in the stretch with Webslinger and Naval Power, with some jostling going on but narrowly got up for the win.

Program Trading

This was the fourth win the race for trainer Chad Brown, whose 2-1 I’m Very Busy finished seventh.

“I was able to save ground all the way around. I had a chance to squeeze myself through on the inside. It was a great trip for my horse; he was very, very brave,’’ Prat said.

What a masterful ride,’’ said Brown. “He got right to the rail early and then I thought he’s got a good chance then. The layoff might not be as big of an issue now that he’s saved a little ground. This horse is nearly undefeated on the turf, which is very hard to do. He’s versatile, a real exciting horse.”

$1 million Churchill Downs Stakes (G1) Race 10: Gun Pilot

With a strong rally in the stretch under Cristian Torres, Gun Pilot passed the leaders Zozos and Here Mi Song and won the 7-furlong sprint for 4-year-olds and up by 2 ½ lengths.

Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Gun Pilot raised his record to 10-5-3-0 for owner Three Chimneys Farm.

Sent off at 5-1, the son of Gun Runner returned $12.68 on a $2 win bet.

Here Mi Song was second; Zozos was third. Favorite Hoist the Gold was fifth.

It was the first Grade 1 win for Torres.

“I don’t know what to say. I’m really excited, I’ve been looking for this Grade 1 for a long time,’’ Torres said. “I just come to ride. I study my races, I do my homework. I just come out here to do the best job that I can. I’m very happy that I finally got one.”

$600,000 American Turf (G2) (Race 9): Trikari

Trikari gave 91-year-old owner John Amerman a win to remember with a huge upset in this 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds.

Ridden perfectly by Umberto Rispoli, Trikari overtook leader Formidable Man in final sixteenth of a mile and won by 1 1/2 lengths at 47-1 odds – the longest shot in the 14-horse field.

Amerman also sent out Endlessly in the Derby later in the day.

Trikari, trained by H. Graham Motion, returned $96.34 on a $2 win bet. Winning time was 1:43.59.

“It was really special performance from a very nice and improving colt,’’ Motion said of Trikari, who ran his record to 5-3-1-0.

Formidable Man was second at 24-1 and Lagynos third at 36-1. The 2-4-3 trifecta returned 2,985.51.

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