SANTA ANITA-BASED PRAT BACK TO WORK AFTER BECOMING FIRST-EVER KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER VIA DISQUALIFCATION ABOARD 65-1 LONGSHOT COUNTRY HOUSE
PRAT ALSO BECOMES FIRST DERBY WINNING JOCKEY TO USE ‘360 GENTLE TOUCH’ RIDING CROP
ARCADIA, Calif. (May 5, 2019)–Roughly 17 hours after he became the first jockey to win a Kentucky Derby via racing disqualification, French-born Flavien Prat was back to work at Santa Anita, getting a leg up from trainer Phil D’Amato aboard Foster Boi, a 3-year-old allowance colt in Sunday’s first race at The Great Race Place.
“I really haven’t realized it yet,” said Prat, 26, when asked prior to Sunday’s first race if the magnitude of yesterday’s longshot ($132.40) Derby win had begun to settle in. “It’s such a big dream…It’s hard to comprehend. I need a few days after to go home and process this. I didn’t cross the wire first, so it’s a different emotion.”
When asked if he himself was surprised that his 65-1 mount, Country House, was up close and contending from the start, Prat said, “Yes. I thought I’d be behind early and having to encourage him. But, he broke well and he put me in the race. The whole way, I was having to hold him, which was a good thing. He showed up yesterday and I’m so glad. It was a good day to show up.”
When asked about the significance of the huge Derby Day crowd of more than 150,000 yesterday at Churchill Downs, Prat said, “It’s the biggest, loudest crowd I’ve ever seen.”
And, beyond the torrent of general media attention that’s been generated by the controversial disqualification of Maximum Security, yesterday’s Derby win via DQ by Country House holds additional long range significance as Country House becomes the first Classic winner to have been ridden by a jockey carrying retired Hall of Famer Ramon Dominguez’s revolutionary “360 Gentle Touch (GT)” riding crop.
“All I can say is, I won the Kentucky Derby with it,” said Prat with a sheepish grin. “How could I ever stop using it?”