Hello, my name is John Cherwa, and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as we preview a story about Flavien Prat.
If you’re looking for our Monday stewards’ rulings, you’re going to have to wait a week. The stewards minutes weren’t made public by this weekend. But, if you keep reading you can find a stewards’ ruling out of Saudi Arabia involving a Hall of Famer.
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As an added treat today, I’m excerpting a story on jockey Flavien Prat that was done by my friend Jeremy Balan for the Thoroughbred News Service. Jeremy used to be a constant in the Santa Anita press box when he worked for the Bloodhorse. His tweets used to infuriate Santa Anita management, but we’ll save that story for another day.
Now, Jeremy’s story on Flavien is long, so I just thought I would share the top of it. The story goes on to talk about life after his Kentucky Derby win and how family life has changed the French jockey. So, give it a read, it’s free. Just click here. And if you go to the bottom of the site connected to that article, there are some recent stories and a lot of videos. So, I’ll dispense with my normal practice of putting quotes around content that I didn’t generate, but understand these are Jeremy’s words, not mine.
(Note: Story contains very mild offensive words, that is if you offend easily. OK, now I know you’ll read.)
Balan: Prat wins Kentucky Derby by fate
The distance between the Los Angeles International Airport and the San Gabriel Valley, where Santa Anita sits, is about 30 miles.
As anyone who has driven in Southern California knows, it’s no jaunt.
The stopping and going, the glow of red tail lights, the inexplicable grind of too many people crammed onto a highway — that was the backdrop of the drive experienced by jockey Flavien Prat and his agent, Derek Lawson, in the middle of March last year.
But this drive was a little more uncomfortable.
Most times Prat heads out of town to ride in stakes around the country, Lawson picks his rider up from the airport. On this weekend Prat was returning from Oaklawn Park in Arkansas, where he rode in the Rebel Stakes.
A horse named Omaha Beach won the Rebel at 4-1, but Prat wasn’t aboard, because Lawson took him off the colt to ride fourth-place finisher Gunmetal Gray, who went off at 10-1. Prat had ridden Omaha Beach in the colt’s first five starts—four unsuccessful maiden special weight tries, and his dominating maiden breaker six weeks before the Rebel.
“I was very upset,” Prat says with a chuckle now.
It’s easier to laugh about almost a year later, because seven weeks after that car ride, Lawson placed his hand on Prat’s shoulder at Churchill Downs, in front of the world watching through NBC’s cameras, and yelled, “You just won the Kentucky Derby!”
It got worse before it got better.
Lawson had his reasons to take off Omaha Beach, but they don’t really matter. It was a mistake. A mistake that happens in the wheeling-and-dealing world of the jockey-agent game, but a mistake nonetheless. And Prat never got the mount back from Hall of Famer Mike Smith.
Omaha Beach went on to win the Arkansas Derby (Prat finished fifth aboard Galilean in the race) and rolled into Churchill Downs as the Kentucky Derby favorite.
“I knew he was pissed off,” Lawson says. “I was pissed off, too. For the Derby, we could have gotten on Gray Magician, the (Todd) Pletcher horse (Cutting Humor), or Country House. I asked him, and he said, ‘Oh, just do what you want!’”
Lawson got his rider on Country House, one of the longest shots of the 20 qualified horses. The colt had come in third, 6 3/4 lengths behind Omaha Beach, in the Arkansas Derby.
“Nobody is perfect, and everybody makes mistakes,” Prat says. “I don’t always ride the best race, so he can get mad at me, too. At the end of the day, it’s horse racing. A lot can go wrong.”
Again, you can read the rest by just clicking here. (It’s free and no paywall.)
Mike Smith gets nine days
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has been suspended for nine for excessive whipping of Midnight Bisou in the Saudi Cup on Saturday. According to the Racing Post, Smith was given an eight-day ban for striking the mare 14 times in the race. The maximum in Saudi Arabia is 10. He also received an additional day for striking the horse without regard to her stride.
In addition, Smith will have to forfeit around $210,000, or 60%, of his share of the purse money. Midnight Bisou earned $3.5 million for her second-place finish. The jockey usually gets 10% of the purse, although that number can fluctuate up.
If standard cross-jurisdictional rules apply, Smith will be able to ride in “designated” races, which is code for stakes races. Santa Anita has five stakes on Saturday, four graded including the Santa Anita Handicap and the San Felipe. Depending on the number of designated races a rider goes in, additional suspension days can be added.
If you want more, the Bloodhorse has the story by the Racing Post. Just click here.
Big jockey agent change
Ron Anderson, the powerhouse jockey agent of Joel Rosario, is picking up a new client, Hall of Famer John Velazquez. It also means that rising star Umberto Rispoli will need a new agent as you are not allowed to handle more than two jockeys.
It also means that we’ll be losing Rosario at some point. Anderson is a talented agent but having him handle two jockeys in two different locations is too big a task for one person.
“Joel will come east with me and I’ll have Johnny and Joel,” Anderson told Mike Welsch of the Daily Racing Form. “I feel terrible about the whole situation having to give up Umberto, but this is a business decision and sometimes you have to separate business from friendship. Umberto is an awfully good rider and he will do fine. I’m honored Johnny asked me, and I’m looking forward to working with him. There aren’t but a couple of guys I would have even considered doing this for, but Johnny is Johnny. He is very elite.”
Velazquez had, perhaps, an even more difficult decision in dropping Angel Cordero, Jr., who has been his agent for more than 30 years.
If you want to make a guess on who Rispoli’s new agent will be, I’m thinking it will be Scotty McClellan, who was Joe Talamo’s agent before he left to go east.
If you want more, check out Welsch’s story at DRF. Just click here.
Golden Hour Double payoffs
Heard from a couple readers about where were the payoffs for Santa Anita’s new Golden Hour Double. Simple answer. Because the last race is at Golden Gate, they appear on the GGF totals. On Saturday, the payoff was $48.50 with a mutuel pool of $100,199. On Sunday, the $5 bet paid $282.50 with a pool of $122,074. Seems like a success.
Santa Anita review
The feature on Sunday was the $100,000 Tiznow Stakes for Cal-breds going a mile on the dirt. There were five starters. The winner was Fashionably First, who sat just off the front and surged to the lead in mid-stretch. The winning margin was half-a-length.
Fashionably Fast paid $4.40, $2.60 and $2.40. Oliver finished second and Tiger Dad was third. It was the sixth win a row for the 5-year-old gelding.
Here’s what the winning connections had to say.
Dean Pederson (winning trainer): “His last couple of works, [jockey] Tiago [Pereira] has worked hard on getting him to relax in the first part but still finish. To me that was the key of the race [Sunday]. If he relaxed, he gave himself a chance. If he didn’t relax you get back to the barn and get the bathwater ready. He’s just confident, mature and he has always had talent, but he was his own worst enemy early on.”
Tiago Pereira (winning jockey): “I thought the number the number two (Tiger Dad), would go and he did. When we got by the two [leaving the furlong pole], he saw the one (Oliver) coming and he’s just a fighter. I hand rode him and he’s so game. He likes to win.”
Big races review
A look at graded stakes or races worth $100,000 on Sunday.
Santa Anita (7): $100,000 Tiznow Stakes, Cal-breds 4 and up, 1 mile. Winner: Fashionably Fast ($4.40)
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Now, the stars of the show, Sunday’s results. See you Friday.
Santa Anita Charts Results for Sunday, March 1.
Copyright 2020 by Equibase Company. Reproduction prohibited. Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 33rd day of a 60-day meet. Cloudy & Firm
5½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $55,000. Maiden Special Weight. 3 year olds and up. Time 22.05 45.51 58.00 1:04.20
|5||Stir the Pot||120||5||2||1–1½||1–1½||1–2½||2–2||Maldonado||5.40|
|1||Watch the Dip||126||1||5||5–2||4–1½||5–2½||7||Gutierrez||1.70|
|5||STIR THE POT||5.80||4.40|
|$1 EXACTA (3-5)||$38.10|
|10-CENT SUPERFECTA (3-5-7-4)||$83.63|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (3-5-7)||$86.55|
|10-CENT X-5 SUPER HIGH FIVE (3-5-7-4-8)||Carryover $1,326|
Winner–Bench Judge Dbb.g.4 by Acclamation out of Caitie's Secret, by Benchmark. Bred by Hronis Racing, LLC (CA). Trainer: John W. Sadler. Owner: Hronis Racing LLC. Mutuel Pool $147,867 Exacta Pool $66,893 Superfecta Pool $29,835 Trifecta Pool $45,122 X-5 Super High Five Pool $1,740. Scratched–War Maker.
BENCH JUDGE broke inward and a bit slowly, settled just off the rail then inside, came out leaving the turn, moved up three deep into the stretch, drifted out in midstretch but rallied under urging to run past the runner-up in deep stretch. STIR THE POT quickly sprinted to the front, angled in and set the pace inside, continued clear past midstretch but could not hold off the winner late. SORRISO angled in and stalked a bit off the rail, drifted out then angled in again on the turn and into the stretch and just held third. DESERT SWARM off a bit slowly, stalked three deep then outside a rival on the turn and into the stretch and was edged for the show. MR. CLUTCH settled outside then off the rail, angled in alongside a rival into the turn, came out leaving the bend and four wide into the stretch and gained some ground late. SIERRA MELODY chased between horses then a bit off the rail on the turn and into the stretch and did not rally. WATCH THE DIP saved ground chasing the pace, continued inside on the turn and in the stretch and weakened in the final furlong.
1 Mile. Purse: $20,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $10,000. Time 23.40 47.18 1:13.27 1:27.46 1:42.27
|5||All Tea All Shade||112||4||3||4||4||4||3–5||3–21||Mussad||1.60|
|5||ALL TEA ALL SHADE|
|$2 DAILY DOUBLE (3-2)||$54.40|
|$1 EXACTA (2-4)||$23.80|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (2-4-5)||$21.60|
Winner–Whoa Nessie B.m.5 by Square Eddie out of Electric Daze, by Gilded Time. Bred by Reddam Racing, LLC (CA). Trainer: Ryan Hanson. Owner: Gardner, Richard, Owens, Darin and Hanson, Ryan. Mutuel Pool $103,933 Daily Double Pool $31,228 Exacta Pool $39,639 Trifecta Pool $22,807. Scratched–Tapitha Bonita.
WHOA NESSIE sped to the early lead, set the pace inside then a bit off the rail on the backstretch, inched away a half mile out, opened up on the second turn and into the stretch, remained clear under left handed urging while drifting in some then steady handling late. SEMI SWEET chased off the rail then outside a rival, came three wide into the stretch and bested that one for the place. ALL TEA ALL SHADE angled in and saved ground chasing the pace, continued along the rail on the second turn and in the stretch and had a mild late gain. BEAU ROCKET stalked off the rail then bid outside the winner leaving the first turn, tracked that one off the inside leaving the backstretch and under urging on the second turn, was between horses into the stretch, gave way and was eased in the final furlong.
6 Furlongs. Purse: $28,000. Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000. Time 21.99 45.29 57.88 1:10.74
|2||Fire When Ready||122||2||4||1–hd||1–hd||3–½||3–4¼||Rispoli||1.30|
|5||BUSTER DOUGLAS (BRZ)||4.80||2.40|
|2||FIRE WHEN READY||2.10|
|$2 DAILY DOUBLE (2-1)||$55.80|
|$1 EXACTA (1-5)||$27.30|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (1-5-2)||$28.75|
Winner–Black Storm Dbb.g.6 by Treasure Ride out of Pearl's Rule, by Tribal Rule. Bred by Luis Aguilar (CA). Trainer: Gary Stute. Owner: Huston Racing Stable, Sanora, Steve and Stute, Gary. Mutuel Pool $157,739 Daily Double Pool $16,165 Exacta Pool $71,584 Trifecta Pool $53,513. Scratched–none.
50-Cent Pick Three (3-2-1) paid $93.70. Pick Three Pool $44,049.
BLACK STORM saved ground stalking the pace, came out a bit leaving the turn and into the stretch, angled out some under left handed urging in midstretch, collared the runner-up in deep stretch and proved best. BUSTER DOUGLAS (BRZ) had good early speed and dueled three deep, took the lead into the stretch, inched away and drifted in some in midstretch, fought back in deep stretch but could not match the winner late. FIRE WHEN READY sent between rivals early, angled in and dueled inside, fought back into the stretch and bested the others. AWHITESPORTSCOAT dueled between horses, also fought back into the stretch, was between foes again in midstretch and weakened in the final furlong. FREIBURG stalked outside the winner then off the rail leaving the turn, came out into the stretch and weakened in the drive.
1 Mile. Purse: $43,000. Waiver Claiming. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $50,000. Time 23.57 47.24 1:12.23 1:24.75 1:37.63
|4||Dia de Pago||122||4||5||4–½||5||5||5||5||Cedillo||6.10|
|$2 DAILY DOUBLE (1-5)||$35.80|
|$1 EXACTA (5-1)||$6.60|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (5-1-2)||$6.70|
Winner–Winning Element Ch.g.6 by City Zip out of It'schemistrybaby, by Meadowlake. Bred by Trackside Farm & Tenlane Farm (KY). Trainer: Ryan Hanson. Owner: Randy E. Marriott. Mutuel Pool $150,368 Daily Double Pool $19,155 Exacta Pool $59,906 Trifecta Pool $45,668. Claimed–Mongolian Hero by Hronis Racing LLC. Trainer: John Sadler. Scratched–none.
50-Cent Pick Three (2-1-5) paid $42.65. Pick Three Pool $19,341.
WINNING ELEMENT angled in and pressed the pace outside a rival, took the lead midway on the second turn, inched away and angled to the inside leaving that turn and drew off in the stretch under urging and a long hold late. EL HUERFANO tugged along the inside stalking the pace, came out on the second turn and three deep into the stretch, drifted out some in the drive and was clearly second best. TREASURE HUNTER had good early speed and set a pressured pace inside, stalked leaving the second turn, came out into the stretch and held third. MONGOLIAN HERO stalked between horses then a bit off the rail on the second turn, angled to the inside nearing the stretch and weakened. DIA DE PAGO close up stalking the pace three deep, angled in outside a rival on the second turn, came out in the stretch and also weakened.
5½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $59,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $62,500. Time 22.65 45.71 57.63 1:03.88
|$2 DAILY DOUBLE (5-2)||$15.20|
|$1 EXACTA (2-6)||$16.50|
|10-CENT SUPERFECTA (2-6-4-1)||$20.20|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (2-6-4)||$24.15|
Winner–Storming Lady Dbb.m.5 by Flat Out out of Beau Watch, by Beau Genius. Bred by Teresa A. Little, Billy Crouse,Taylor Little & Travis Price (KY). Trainer: Alfredo Marquez. Owner: Goodwin, Tim and Goodwin, Kelley. Mutuel Pool $277,977 Daily Double Pool $22,287 Exacta Pool $118,440 Superfecta Pool $45,343 Trifecta Pool $73,599. Scratched–none.
50-Cent Pick Three (1-5-2) paid $33.55. Pick Three Pool $41,477. 50-Cent Pick Four (2-1-5-2) 539 tickets with 4 correct paid $161.45. Pick Four Pool $113,999. 50-Cent Pick Five (3-2-1-5-2) 354 tickets with 5 correct paid $980.05. Pick Five Pool $403,802.
STORMING LADY bobbled some at the start, chased outside a rival then a bit off the rail, angled in on the turn, came out leaving the turn and four wide into the stretch and rallied under urging to get up outside foes in the final stride. DEVILS DANCE had speed three deep then dueled outside a rival, continued off the rail in midstretch then came back on between foes late. SOLD IT sped to the early lead, dueled inside, inched away a bit off the fence in the stretch and held on well but was edged late. MISCHIFFIE (IRE) broke through the gate before the start, saved ground chasing the pace throughout and finished willingly. LITTLEFIREFIGHTER had speed between foes then stalked a bit off the inside, angled to the rail on thee turn, came out into the stretch, was between foes in midstretch and was outfinished. HOLLY HUNDY stalked the pace inside, came out into the stretch, split horses in midstretch and also was outkicked late.
6½ Furlongs. Purse: $22,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 4 year olds and up. Claiming Price $16,000. Time 22.01 45.07 1:10.64 1:17.68
|$2 DAILY DOUBLE (2-5)||$47.20|
|$1 EXACTA (5-4)||$12.90|
|10-CENT SUPERFECTA (5-4-1-6)||$14.96|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (5-4-1)||$26.85|
Winner–Vallestina Ch.m.6 by Leroidesanimaux (BRZ) out of Darling Kitty, by Tale of the Cat. Bred by Carl Bowling (FL). Trainer: Anna Meah. Owner: DA Meah Racing and Mickelson, Timothy. Mutuel Pool $187,668 Daily Double Pool $23,802 Exacta Pool $89,907 Superfecta Pool $38,149 Trifecta Pool $63,132. Claimed–Leading Indicator by Gulliver Racing LLC. Trainer: Jeff Mullins. Scratched–Fracas.
50-Cent Pick Three (5-2-5) paid $20.85. Pick Three Pool $32,248.
VALLESTINA had speed four wide then inched away on the backstretch, angled in and set the pace inside, kicked clear on the turn and held gamely under urging. LEADING INDICATOR also had good early speed between horses then stalked three deep, continued between foes on the turn, angled in a bit off the rail into the stretch, drifted in some in the drive, came out a bit late and was clearly second best. INCREDIBLY LUCKY chased inside then a bit off the rail, came out leaving the turn and three deep into the stretch and gained the show late. FAIRLY LUCKY stalked outside a rival, went up four wide on the turn and three deep into the stretch and was edged late for third. COILETTE had speed between horses then stalked between foes, dropped back a bit off the rail into the stretch and weakened. GIRONA went up inside to press the early pace then saved ground stalking the winner, dropped back in the stretch and also weakened.
1 Mile. Purse: $100,000. 'Tiznow Stakes'. 4 year olds and up. Time 23.28 46.66 1:11.13 1:23.54 1:36.64
|$2 DAILY DOUBLE (5-3)||$28.40|
|$1 EXACTA (3-1)||$5.60|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (3-1-2)||$5.50|
Winner–Fashionably Fast Ch.g.5 by Lucky Pulpit out of Fall Fashion, by Forestry. Bred by Harris Farms (CA). Trainer: Dean Pederson. Owner: Harris Farms, Inc., Antonsen, Per and Nicoletti, John A.. Mutuel Pool $291,817 Daily Double Pool $28,018 Exacta Pool $111,646 Trifecta Pool $98,689. Scratched–none.
50-Cent Pick Three (2-5-3) paid $28.25. Pick Three Pool $28,772.
FASHIONABLY FAST tugged his way between horses early then dueled outside a rival, put a head in front on the backstretch then battled outside that foe into and on the second turn, regained a slim advantage into the stretch, inched away past the eighth pole, drifted in and held on gamely under left handed urging. OLIVER saved ground stalking the pace, waited off heels a half mile out, came out for room into the stretch, bid alongside the winner in deep stretch and continued willingly to the wire. TIGER DAD had good early speed and dueled inside, put a head back in front nearing the half mile pole, fought back inside on the second turn and until past midstretch and held third. POSTERIZE had speed three deep then stalked outside the runner-up, came out into the stretch and lacked the needed response. ERNIE BANKS chased off the rail then a bit off the fence on the backstretch, dropped back on the second turn, gave way and was eased in the final furlong.
5½ Furlongs Turf. Purse: $55,000. Maiden Special Weight. 3 year olds and up. Time 22.80 46.09 57.81 1:03.84
|5||A Man's Man||126||4||7||1–1½||1–1||1–3||1–3¼||Rispoli||1.00|
|8||Handsome Cat||122||7||3||7||6–1||7||4–hd||Valdivia, Jr.||23.20|
|5||A MAN'S MAN||4.00||2.40||2.10|
|$2 DAILY DOUBLE (3-5)||$9.60|
|$1 EXACTA (5-7)||$4.50|
|10-CENT SUPERFECTA (5-7-6-8)||$13.27|
|$1 SUPER HIGH FIVE (5-7-6-8-4)||$335.20|
|50-CENT TRIFECTA (5-7-6)||$15.55|
Winner–A Man's Man Ch.g.4 by Mucho Macho Man out of Longing, by City Zip. Bred by Richard Barton Enterprises (CA). Trainer: Brian J. Koriner. Owner: Blinkers On Racing Stable, Preszler, Vince, Keith, Allen, Wagner, Les, Robin, Charles, Georgetti, Ro. Mutuel Pool $323,553 Daily Double Pool $115,794 Exacta Pool $166,441 Superfecta Pool $93,279 Super High Five Pool $27,242 Trifecta Pool $121,917. Scratched–Street Demand.
50-Cent Pick Three (5-3-5) paid $15.00. Pick Three Pool $125,210. 50-Cent Pick Four (2-5-3-3/5) 3783 tickets with 4 correct paid $70.70. Pick Four Pool $350,698. 50-Cent Pick Five (5-2-5-3-3/5) 1321 tickets with 5 correct paid $167.10. Pick Five Pool $289,322. 20-Cent Pick Six Jackpot (1-5-2-5-3-3/5) 155 tickets with 6 correct paid $451.44. Pick Six Jackpot Pool $130,731. Pick Six Jackpot Carryover $140,715.
A MAN'S MAN broke a bit slowly, tugged his way between horses then inched away and angled in, set the pace inside, opened up under a strong hand ride in the stretch and won clear under a couple late cracks of the whip and a long hold in the final strides. BRIX between horses early, stalked outside a rival, came three deep into the stretch and gained the place. MALAKAI MOXIE had speed between horses then stalked outside a rival, continued a bit off the fence into and through the stretch and bested the others. HANDSOME CAT reluctant to load, chased outside then alongside a rival, came three deep into the stretch, angled in and split horses in deep stretch and lacked the needed rally. HAMMERING LEMON broke a bit slowly, angled in and saved ground chasing the pace, split rivals past midstretch and could not offer the necessary response. ROYAL ASPIRATIONS in a bit tight after the start, pulled toward the inside and steadied early, chased along the rail, came out into the stretch and weakened. STREET BEHAVIOR had speed inside then saved ground stalking the pace, continued along the rail into the stretch and weakened in the final furlong.
|Out of State||N/A||$3,869,076|