Prat, Smith Head East For Weekend Saratoga Stakes Engagements

Having doubled the win total of his closest rival with a productive Week 3 of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club meeting in Del Mar, Calif.,, leading rider Flavien Prat was scheduled to ride three races on at the seaside track on Thursday and then head for Saratoga and the big stakes weekend there.

Prat enters Week 4 here with 20 wins from 70 mounts, an impressive 29 percent win rate and has recorded top-three finishes in 63 percent of his starts.  The native of France, who marked his 29th birthday on Wednesday, will be in upstate New York on Friday to ride Public Defender (2-1) in the Grade 2 Hall of Fame Stakes for Chad Brown. Prat rides two more for Brown on Saturday – Always Carina in the $500,000, Grade 1 Test Stakes and Flavius in the $120,000 Lure.

Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who like Prat is represented by agent Brad Pegram, is also headed to Saratoga with a key assignment being on Secret Protector for Charles Appleby in the $1 million Saratoga Derby Invitational.

Prat and Smith will remain there for Sunday’s card where the main event is the $700,000 Saratoga Oaks.

Among those hoping to capitalize in the — “While Prat’s away, it’s an opportunity to make hay” – sweepstakes at Del Mar are Juan Hernandez, Umberto Rispoli, Abel Cedillo and Kyle Frey.

Hernandez (10 for 72) is second in the standings with Rispoli (9 for 60) and Cedillo (9 for 70) tied for third. Frey (8 for 35) rounds out the top five.

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Saddling 10 winners from 54 starters, Peter Miller, often teaming with Prat, has double the victory total of Bob Baffert (5 for 21). Mark Glatt, Simon Callaghan and Peter Eurton all have recorded four wins in the first 10 days of the meeting.

The post Prat, Smith Head East For Weekend Saratoga Stakes Engagements appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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