FAVORED I’M LEAVING YOU RALLIES TO TAKE $36,000 SANTA ANITA ALLOWANCE FEATURE BY 1 ¼ LENGTHS AS PRAT NOTCHES FOURTH WIN OF DAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 19, 2021)–In a continuance of what happened over the four-day Presidents’ weekend that concluded on Monday, it would appear that Santa Anita Park is the epicenter of Flavien Prat’s world and the rest of the racing community is simply living in it. Aboard the Vann Belvoir-trained I’m Leaving You for the first time in Friday’s seventh race, which served as Santa Anita’s $36,000 allowance feature, Prat, who earlier in the day had registered his 1,000th career victory, orchestrated a late rally from well off the pace that provided him his fourth win on the day while resulting in a 1 ¼ length win. Off at even money in a field of eight older horses, I’m Leaving You got one mile on turf in 1:34.57.
A winner of 15 races, including two stakes this past week, Prat now sits atop the Winter/Spring jockey standings with 34 wins, three better than Juan Hernandez.
In a complete change of tactics from his most recent start at the same level and distance, I’m Leaving You was taken comfortably off the pace, whereas he stalked the early leaders while running second, beaten one length as the 6-5 favorite here on Dec. 31.
Next to last, about five lengths off the leaders three furlongs out, Prat sat patiently until mid-way on the far turn. Fanned five-wide turning for home, he overhauled Midnight Mystery at the sixteenth pole and easily held a late finishing Hoop Dream safe late.
“There was no plan,” said Prat when asked about tactics. “I saw there was speed in the race and the way it worked out, he backed off the pace today and (was) very comfortable. When I asked him, he really picked it up at the top of the stretch.”
A 4-year-old gelding by Broken Vow, I’m Leaving You paid $4.20, $2.80 and $2.20.
Owned by his breeder, Coal Creek Farm, I’m Leaving You is out of their Dayjur mare One for You. Winless in six starts since breaking his maiden for a $62,500 claiming tag on May 29, 2020, I’m Leaving You now has two wins from 10 starts and with the winner’s share of $21,600, he now has earnings of $57,220.
Ridden by Juan Hernandez, Hoop Dream rallied from last and paid $6.00 and $3.20 while finishing 1 ¾ lengths in front of Liar Liar.
Irish-bred Liar Liar, with Mario Gutierrez up, paid $3.00 to show while off at 9-2.
Fractions on the race were 22.93, 46.25, 1:10.46 and 1:22.70.
First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m.