With no racing in Southern California last week, Flavien Prat plied his trade at Indiana Grand and Belmont Park winning two graded stakes races and earning Jockey of the Week honors for July 6 through July 11. The award, which is voted on by a panel of racing experts, is for jockeys who are members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 active riders in the United States as well as retired and permanently disabled jockeys.
On Wednesday, Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella called on Prat to pilot Soothsay in the Grade III Indiana Oaks at Indiana Grand. Off as the second choice in the field of nine, Soothsay broke in the air and was last going into the far turn. But Prat stayed calm and regrouped. “It was just a matter if she could make up the ground,” said Prat. Soothsay and Prat began closing into contention around the far turn continuing to close to just get up to win by a neck over 40-1 shot Moon Swag in 1:44.36 for the mile and one-sixteenth. “Flavien showed what a star he has become. He got off bad. He just sat there cool, didn’t lose any more ground than he had to. Just a great ride,” said Mandella when reached by phone by Indiana Grand media.
Prat then travelled to Belmont Park to ride Souper Sensational for the first time for Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse in the Grade III Victory Ride Stakes for three-year-olds which was part of the Stars and Stripes Day card. Souper Sensational was slowest away from the gate but demonstrated an impressive turn-of-foot late in the turn for a 3-1/4-length win in 1:15.79 for the 6-1/2 furlongs. “She was travelling well and when I got her in the clear, she really kicked on well,” said Prat. “I bided my time and got to a nice rhythm. In the end, she really responded.”
While limited with only four mounts for the week, Prat’s total purse earnings were $392,700. He out-polled fellow jockeys Daniel Centeno who won the Gr. II Delaware Handicap, Stewart Elliott who posted an impressive 13 wins to lead all jockeys while also capturing the leading jockey title at Lone Star, Ramon A. Vazquez who won the Gr. III Indiana Derby and Lindey Wade with a win percentage of 47.6% from 21 mounts.
Prat is headed back to California for Opening Day at Del Mar Friday, July 16.