Photo: Hollywood Park
For a brand new apprentice rider trying to break into the big time, it’s helpful to have some major league names behind him.Drayden Van Dyke
, 19 had his first ride Sunday at Betfair Hollywood Park, finishing sixth aboard Two Term Leader for Glen Hill Farm and trainer Tom Proctor.
“While he was in high school in Hot Springs, he came out to Churchill Downs every summer trying to get work,” said Proctor. “After high school, I sent him to Florida to learn. He’s out here now exercising horses for me.”
“The thing about this kid is that people like him,” pointed out Proctor. “He’s got talent, but he’s humble.”
The usual butterflies accompanied the bug boy to the gate for the first time.
“I was a little nervous, but the experience was awesome,’’ said Van Dyke. “Gary (Stevens) was in the jock’s room helping me with my goggles and silks.”
Van Dyke will make his second appearance in Thursday’s sixth race aboard the Proctor-trained Money Clip. Stevens originally had been named on the 3-year-old maiden son of Aleet Alex.