Prat Get Three Stakes Wins Saturday, Increases Lead In Del Mar Jockey Standings

A backstretch confab between jockey Flavien Prat and agent Brad Pegram was interrupted this morning with an impertinent question: “Would you consider Saturday’s results adequate?”

Pegram laughed. Prat smiled and gave the day an upgraded rating of “good.”

Good if that’s what you consider victories in the first three of five stakes on the program – aboard Private Mission, Mo Forza and Going Global — and a runner-up in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic with Tizamagician at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, Calif.

“I messed up the last race (fourth in the Del Mar Handicap on favored United),” Prat allowed. “But in the Classic, I had a good trip and just got beaten in the last part.”

The three stakes victories increased Prat’s total to 10 for the meeting. He holds the record for a season of 14, established last year. There are 11 stakes remaining at the meeting but Prat will miss the next two, Friday’s $80,000 Tranquility Lake and Saturday’s $200,000 Grade 2 Pat O’Brien while on assignment at Saratoga.

The two stakes Saturday that Prat didn’t win, went to riders whose success was heartwarming to many. Tiago Pereira, who had started the meeting 0-for-48, drew high praise from trainer John Sadler and owner Kostas Hronis for his ride on Tripoli in the Classic. Hall of Famer Victor Espinoza, seemingly overlooked in the focus on younger talent, guided Astronaut ($50.00) to the Del Mar Handicap score.

“It makes me happy to win this race for John Shirreffs,” said Espinoza, who won the Triple Crown with American Pharoah in 2015. “He’s always been there for me and I’ve been there for him. He’s been there for me a little more lately.”

Prat has a 31-23 lead over Juan Hernandez and Abel Cedillo in the overall standings, seeking his third straight riding title and fourth in the last five years.

The post Prat Get Three Stakes Wins Saturday, Increases Lead In Del Mar Jockey Standings appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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