Prospect Park is bred and owned by Marty and Pam Wygod, who bred and originally owned superstar older horse Shared Belief. While they privately sold that gelding after his winning debut, they’ve kept a tight hold on this progressive Tapit colt.
Although not as precocious as Shared Belief, who was named champion juvenile in 2013, Prospect Park has made great strides with experience. The Clifford Sise trainee finished sixth in his debut going six furlongs on the Del Mar Polytrack, and then improved to finish second and third in his next two starts during the Santa Anita fall meet, both around two turns on dirt.
Prospect Park finally put it all together on the second day of Santa Anita’s winter/spring meet, winning a 1/16-mile maiden by a head after contesting the pace most of the way. It was also the first time he was ridden by Kent Desormeaux, a three-time Kentucky Derby winner.
Prospect Park made his three-year-old debut against four rivals in a first-level allowance at Santa Anita January 30. Stalking the pace in fourth, the colt stepped on the gas after finding room in the stretch and drew off to a convincing 5 1/4-length score at odds of nearly 4-1.
The ease with which he won that race convinced his connections that a jump to stakes company would be appropriate for his next start. That came in the $400,000 San Felipe over 1 1/16 miles. Although he suffered his first defeat of the season, his closing second-place finish behind current Derby favorite Dortmund was strong. Conceding stakes experience to that rival, Prospect Park whittled down his deficit to 1 1/4 lengths at the wire.
Prospect Park’s second attempt versus Dortmund, in the April 4 Santa Anita Derby did not go as well. He was a non-threatening fourth, 6 3/4 lengths behind that rival.