First Stakes Dead-Heat at Del Mar in 47 Years

August 29, 2020

Social Media was all the buzz after what many thought was a controversial dead-heat at Del Mar, the photo in question involved Falvien Prat and Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.

The dead-heat for the win between Proud Emma and Message in Friday’s Tranquility Lake was the first in a stakes event at Del Mar in nearly a half-century and only the third all-time at the track.

The first such occurrence was in the 1968 Del Mar Derby, when Prince Hemp and Glory Hallelujah couldn’t be separated by the photo-finish camera. The most “recent” was in the second division of the 1973 Rancho Bernardo when the co-winners were Dollar Discount and D.B. Carm.

The dead-heat victory in a stakes was the first for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who has been winning them at Del Mar, and lots of other Thoroughbred places, for over three decades.

It was also a first, and a double-dip benefit for jockey Flavien Prat, aboard Message for Baffert.

It was the 11th stakes win of the meeting for Prat, two short of the track’s single-season record for jockeys with eight more black-type events on the calendar. It also moved Prat back into a tie with Umberto Rispoli atop the rider standings with 36 wins each.

“I’m Umberto Rispoli and I read Past the Wire” Umberto Rispoli, Champion Jockey

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