Graded Stakes Double Leads Flavien Prat To Jockey Of The Week Title - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Graded Stakes Double Leads Flavien Prat To Jockey Of The Week Title

A Mo Reay, outside, ridden by Flavien Prat, takes the G1 Beholder Mile over favorite Fun to Dream

With two graded stakes wins for Flavien Prat at Santa Anita, including his first Grade 1 of the year, things are going in the right direction for the French-born jockey who has won the leading rider title at “The Great Race Place” nine times.

Those graded stakes wins led the panel of racing experts to vote Prat Jockey of the Week for March 6 through March 12. The award recognizes jockeys for riding accomplishments and who are members of the Jockeys' Guild, the organization which represents more than 1050 active, retired and permanently disabled jockeys in the United States.

On Saturday, Prat was aboard New Orleans-based invader A Mo Reay for trainer Brad Cox for the first time in the Grade 1 Beholder Mile. Breaking from position five in the field of eight accomplished fillies and mares, Prat had A Mo Reay racing in third behind Ganadora who took the early lead. Around the second turn, race favorite Fun to Dream collared Ganadora while Prat swung A Mo Reay four-wide into the stretch, chasing Fun to Dream. A Mo Reay closed the gap with every stride to nail Fun to Dream at the wire in 1:36.25.

“When you end up winning it is always better,” said Prat, who collected his third win of the day. “She really dug in when it was time to run, and she was travelling well all around.”

In Sunday's Grade 3 Santa Ana, trainer Simon Callaghan gave a leg up to Prat aboard Ballet Dancing going long for the first time. Breaking alertly from the far outside in the field of seven, Ballet Dancing tracked the pacesetter, Annaghlasa, to the quarter pole then took the lead to cruise to a 3 1/2-length win in 2:01.25 for the mile and one-quarter turf test for fillies and mares ages four and up.

“I watched some videos of her and talked to Simon,” said Prat. “She broke well, got ourselves into the race and I was travelling really well all the way around. She responded really well when I asked her.”

Prat was a finalist for the 2022 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey and was the regular rider for Horse of the Year Flightline who accounted for three of Prat's 13 Grade 1 victories. Overall, Prat won 42 graded stakes in 2022.

Prat's competition for Jockey of the Week included Manny Franco who won a stakes race at Aqueduct in addition to five races on a single card, Antonio Gallardo who won the Grade 3 Florida Oaks, Irad Ortiz, Jr. with two graded stakes wins and led all riders in wins with 11 and Luis Saez who won the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby.

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