After winning three Grade 1 stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday’s card, Flavien Prat was voted Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week for September 25 – October 1, 2017. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America. Jockey of the Week is sponsored by Animal Element’s Foundation Detox and Product X Performance Enhancer.
With the Breeders’ Cup World Championships just a few weeks away, the last weekend of September marked not only the opening of the Santa Anita fall meet, but one of the last opportunities for horses and their connections to qualify for this year’s event at Del Mar on November 3 and 4 in stakes races on each coast.
Santa Anita hosted five Win and You’re In Breeders’ Cup challenge races on September 30. By the end of the card, jockey Flavien Prat would escort horses to the winner’s circle in three of the qualifiers, increasing his own number of mounts in next month’s feature event.
Prat won the first stakes of the day, the $300,000 (G1), with Paradise Woods for trainer Richard Mandella. This was the first victory for Paradise Woods ($3.00) since her Santa Anita Oaks (G1) victory last spring. Prat and the Union Rags filly cruised to an early lead and won in a hand ride, over five lengths clear of the rest of the short field.
He returned in the next stakes race, the $300,000 Chandelier (G1) with Moonshine Memories ($6.00). The pair tracked favorite Alluring Star and Joe Talamo throughout the race before passing them in the stretch to win by three lengths. The Simon Callaghan trainee is now undefeated in three starts, two of which were at Del Mar, the site of year’s Breeders’ Cup.
Prat’s Grade 1 hat trick concluded with a repeat win in the $300,000 Rodeo Drive (G1). Prat and Mandella-trained Avenge ($6.00) won last year’s edition of the Rodeo Drive en route to qualifying for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, in which Avenge and Prat finished third. This was the first win for the War Front mare since last year’s Rodeo Drive.
In addition to his four wins on the card, including the three stakes, Prat finished second in the $300,000 FrontRunner Stakes (G1) with Solomini; though he was nearly eight lengths away from winning horse Bolt d’Oro, Prat and Solomini were over two lengths ahead of the third-place finisher and the rest of the strung-out field.
Prat adds four wins to his 2017 statistics, which total 139 wins in 654 starts. His wins last week came from 24 starts, giving him a win rate of 17%. He finished second in six races and had four third-place finishes for an in-the-money rate of 58%.
As the leading rider by earnings for the week, Prat added $695,635 in earnings to his 2017 total. He has earned $9,813,111 to date in 2017, placing him ninth among all North American jockeys by earnings for the year. He led North American jockeys for the week with stakes earnings that totaled $603,035.
Prat’s career statistics include over 400 wins in 2,245 starts and earnings in excess of $27 million.