02/21/2002 12:00AM

D'Amico loses mount on Harlan's Holiday


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Tony D'Amico, who has been the regular rider of Kentucky Derby contenders Repent and Harlan's Holiday for trainer Ken McPeek, said Thursday that he is being replaced aboard Harlan's Holiday for the March 16 Florida Derby.

D'Amico will retain the mount on Repent, the consensus Derby favorite. Repent is expected to run next in the March 10 Louisiana Derby or March 23 Lane's End Spiral Stakes.

McPeek said Thursday that no final decision has yet been made on who will ride Harlan's Holiday in the $1 million Florida Derby. "We'll get it done in the next couple of days," he said. "There are a few names out there."

Edgar Prado is one possibility as the replacement, but Prado also may have an opportunity to ride High Star for trainer Nick Zito in the Florida Derby. Jorge Chavez rode High Star in his last race, but Chavez is committed to Booklet for the Florida Derby.

D'Amico said he was disappointed about losing the mount on Harlan's Holiday, who was narrowly beaten by Booklet in the Holy Bull and Fountain of Youth Stakes. "I've still got a really good one, though," he said of Repent.

McPeek said D'Amico obviously would not have been able to ride both horses in the Kentucky Derby, "so now was a good time to make this kind of move."