Eclipse Thoroughbred Partner’s Kentucky-bred Speaking Scout joined the ranks of Grade 1 stakes winners on Dec. 3 at Del Mar, utilizing a strong late surge to take down top prize in the $400,000 Hollywood Derby (G1).
Ridden in the Hollywood Derby by Juan Hernandez, Speaking Scout outran nine rivals in the 1 1/8-mile turf test, stopping the timer for the nine panels in 1:49.35 while defeating Spycatcher by three-quarters of a length at the wire. He was unhurried early and allowed to settle at the back of the pack before unleashing a strong late rally that carried him to the front in the final sixteenth. Speaking Scout shipped west for trainer H. Graham Motion in October and promptly finished second in the Twilight Derby (G2) at Santa Anita on Oct. 29 prior to his Grade 1 victory.
“He didn’t break all that sharp today, but he put himself in a good spot and I was happy,” said winning rider Juan Hernandez. “He’s an intelligent horse. When it came time for him to switch leads, he did it and I had faith that he was going to run good from there. I was just the pilot. He did all the work.”
The Hollywood Derby marked the fourth career win for the Mr. Speaker gelding, and the $240,000 winner’s share of the purse increased his bankroll to more than $500,000. Speaking Scout is produced from the Pleasant Tap mare Miss Scout and was bred in Kentucky by Mike Abraham.