Program Trading Wins by a Whisker in Turf Classic

May 4, 2024

Program Trading and Naval Power battled down to the centimeter in the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic.(Jenny Doyle/Past The Wire)

Churchill Downs Media

LOUISVILLE, Ky.– Klaravich Stables’ Program Trading (GB) outdueled Naval Power (GB) by a head after racing as a team through the final eighth of a mile to win the 38th running of the $1 million Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (GI) for 4-year-olds and up Saturday afternoon.

Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Flavien Prat, Program Trading completed the mile and an eighth on a turf course rated as “good” in 1:50.30. It is the fourth victory in the race for Brown.

Never Surprised led the field of 10 through fractions of :24.48, :49.51 and 1:14.36 as Naval Power under Frankie Dettori held a stalking position in second and Program Trading received a ground-saving trip in third.

At the top of the stretch, Naval Power struck the front with Webslinger making a bold bid on the outside and Program Trading tipping off the inside into the two path.

Prat sent Program Trading through a narrow opening along the rail inside of Naval Power and drew even at the eighth pole and then prevailed in the final strides. In winning his third Grade I race, Program Trading won for the fifth time in six starts.

Program Trading paid his backers $10.18, $5.26 and $4.14. Naval Power returned $4.34 and $3.60 and finished two lengths in front of Webslinger, who paid $6.92 to show under Javier Castellano.

Finishing another nose back in fourth was Integration, who was followed in order by Far BridgeSiege of Boston, favored I’m Very BusyAnglophile, Never Surprised and Cellist.

Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic Quotes

Flavien Prat (jockey, Program Trading-GB, winner) – “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.”

Chad Brown (trainer, Program Trading-GB, winner) – “The horse had been training super. He’s done great all winter. The only thing I told (jockey) Flavien (Prat) in the paddock was just to keep in mind that he’s off the layoff and he’s against horses that are definitely race fit in the middle of their campaigns so you’re going to have to save a little ground somewhere. What a masterful ride. 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.”

(On beaten favorite I’m Very Busy): “It really started in the paddock. The horse was not acting good in the paddock. Not every horse can handle 100,000 people and this horse did not handle it well. I had to saddle him on the walk which I’ve never had to do with this horse. And then he stuck his hind foot over the gate, and they had to back him out. Probably draw a line through that one.”

Frankie Dettori (jockey, Naval Power-GB, second) – “I couldn’t ask for anymore from my horse. He just made a huge run and almost got there.”

Javier Castellano (jockey, Webslinger, third) – “He tried the best he could. It was a very competitive race, and he ran great.”

An elated Flavien Prat aboard Program Trading. (Jenny Doyle/Past The Wire)
An elated Flavien Prat aboard Program Trading. (Jenny Doyle/Past The Wire)

Nice Pick at the Big A. Thanks!

Jon Bercher @JBercher View testimonials