DEL MAR, Calif.— Trainer John Sadler has confirmed that jockey Flavien Prat will return to Del Mar next weekend to ride Flightline in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic. Prat has been the regular rider for the undefeated Tapit colt’s first four career starts, but has been based on the east coast this year and has yet to make the trek west to Del Mar this summer.
“That’s been the plan all long,” Sadler said of Prat retaining the mount on Flightline.
Prat was a leading rider in Southern California until April when he announced he was moving his tack to Keeneland and then to New York. He did come out and ride at Santa Anita on Memorial Day but otherwise, he’s stayed east of the Mississippi since making the move.
He first rode Flightline in the colt’s debut, a six-furlong maiden race at Santa Anita in April of 2021. They won by 13 ¼ lengths. Prat hopped back on Flightline in an entry-level allowance at Del Mar in September of 2021 and they won by 12 ¾ lengths. When Flightline moved up to Graded Stakes company, Prat went along and they crushed the field in the G1 Malibu at Santa Anita in December by 11 lengths. Flightline followed Prat back to New York in June and the two romped in the G1 Met Mile at Belmont Park, a race they won by “only” six lengths.
Flightline, who sold for $1 million as a yearling, is the prohibitive favorite for this year’s TVG Pacific Classic, which will be run September 3. The post position draw will be held this Tuesday around 4 p.m. at the nearby Brigantine restaurant.
DMTC Press Release
Photo: Flavien Prat (Benoit Photo)