04/21/2017 9:18AM

Kentucky Derby contender Battle of Midway sold

Barbara D. Livingston
Rick Porter has sold Battle of Midway to WinStar Farm and Don Alberto Stable. He will be ridden in the Kentucky Derby by Flavien Prat.

Battle of Midway, second in the Santa Anita Derby in his last start, has been sold to a partnership of WinStar Farm and Don Alberto Stable and will be ridden in the Kentucky Derby by jockey Flavien Prat, Elliott Walden, the president and chief executive of WinStar Farm, said Friday morning.

Battle of Midway was purchased outright by the partnership from Rick Porter.

Jerry Hollendorfer will continue as his trainer.

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"We are excited to join with WinStar on such an exciting racing prospect, said Fernando Diaz-Valdes of Don Alberto.

Walden said he believes "this colt has a bright future both as a racehorse and stallion prospect."

Battle of Midway, by Smart Strike, was purchased as yearling for $410,000. He is out of the Grade 1-winning mare Rigoletta.

Battle of Midway has won 2 of 4 starts and earned $290,000. He beat maidens in his debut in January and was third in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at seven furlongs on Feb. 12 in his second start.

Battle of Midway won an optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles under Prat on March 9 in his first start around two turns before losing the Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles by a half-length to Gormley under Corey Nakatani.

Hollendorfer said the sale will result in “nothing different” in Battle of Midway’s preparation for the Kentucky Derby.

“I don’t plan on changing things,” Hollendorfer said. “He’s been feeling well and doing well. That’s part of the reason they wanted to buy him and a sale was negotiated.”

Prat is one of four jockeys to have ridden Battle of Midway in as many races.

“Flavien Prat has won on the horse,” Hollendorfer said. “Believe me, Corey did a good job with the horse in the Santa Anita Derby. The new connections wanted Flavien Prat on the horse and I’ll go along with that.”

Porter, who races as Fox Hill Farm, has been battling cancer for much of the past two years.

- additional reporting by Steve Andersen