In 1981, Serge Fradkoff sent Providential to the care of . Racing Hall of Fame trainer Charlie Whittingham at Santa Anita Park in California . For Whittingham, Providential finished second in his October debut and then second in the Grade II Carleton F. Burke Handicap . Ridden by French jockey Alain Lequeux , in November Providential won the most important race of his career against an international field in the Washington, . International Stakes at Laurel Park Racecourse in Laurel, Maryland over April Run . Returning to California, he won the inaugural running of the Hollywood Turf Cup Stakes at Hollywood Park Racetrack over John Henry who was fourth.