2022 Kentucky Derby jockey profile: Flavien Prat

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

April 30th, 2022

Who is Flavien Prat?

Quick quiz: which jockey (with a little help from track stewards) pulled off the second-biggest upset in the history of the Kentucky Derby (G1)?

The answer is Flavien Prat, the 29-year-old rider who guided 65-1 longshot Country House to victory via disqualification in the 2019 Run for the Roses. A champion apprentice jockey in his native France, Flavien Prat has been on a steady rise to stardom since relocating to California in late 2014. Between 2015 and 2020, Prat won at least 164 races and $11.9 million each year, including three Breeders’ Cup events and 166 graded stakes.

Although widely known for his prowess riding on turf—hardly surprising for a jockey with experience in France—Prat has also enjoyed strong success on dirt and synthetic tracks, with a lifetime win rate of 21% over those surfaces. One of his most memorable rides came in the 2019 Pacific Classic (G1) racing 1 1/4 miles at Del Mar, when Prat sprang a 5 1/4-length upset aboard the pace-tracking longshot Higher Power.

Already, 2022 is shaping up to be a banner year for Prat, who has won a dozen graded stakes (including four Grade 1s) since Jan. 1. One of those wins came aboard Zandon in the Blue Grass S. (G1), and Prat will partner with Zandon again on Derby Day, opening the door for a second victory in America’s greatest horse race.

Prat historically hadn’t ridden outside of California very often, and his results when traveling out of state have varied greatly from track to track. With this in mind, let’s dig into the data and review how Prat has performed riding in dirt races at the main tracks where Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races are held:

All stats from Jan. 1, 2017 through April 24, 2022. Generated by STATSMASTER, Powered by TrackMaster, an Equibase Company.

Lifetime record over 1 1/4 miles on dirt:
Starts Wins Win % ROI %
35 5 14% 152%

Lifetime record stats compiled by Nazrana Dixon.

Lifetime record in the Kentucky Derby:      
Starts Wins Places Shows Win % ITM % ROI %
4 1 1 1 25% 75% 1555%

Prat at Aqueduct

Prat has made only one trip to Aqueduct over the last five years, but it’s safe to say he made it count. On April 7, 2018, Prat finished third in a maiden special weight and the Gazelle (G3) before guiding National Flag to a four-length victory in the Bay Shore (G3), giving him a 33% win rate and a perfect 100% in-the-money rate.

Prat at Churchill Downs

Among the major tracks outside of California, Prat has enjoyed some of his strongest success at Churchill Downs. Winning the Kentucky Derby aboard Country House ranks as the obvious highlight, but Prat’s 3-for-27 (11%) record over the main track also includes top-three Kentucky Derby finishes aboard Battle of Midway (2017) and Hot Rod Charlie (2021). In addition, Prat guided Taris to a romping win in the 2016 Humana Distaff (G1).

Prat at Gulfstream Park

Prat hasn’t enjoyed the best of luck over the Gulfstream dirt, going 0-for-12 since 2017, though he did produce a crafty ground-saving ride aboard Independence Hall to finish third in the 2021 Pegasus World Cup (G1).

Prat at Keeneland

After going winless over the Keeneland main track between 2017 and 2020, Prat has picked up the pace significantly since 2021, going 13-for-43 (30%). Betting all of his mounts during this timeframe would have generated a 2% profit, with victories aboard Zandon in the Blue Grass S. (G1) and Just One Time in the Madison S. (G1) among the highlights.

Prat at Oaklawn Park

Occasional forays to ride in Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races at Oaklawn have yet to yield any stakes wins for Prat, though top-three finishes aboard Solomini in the 2018 Arkansas Derby (G1) and Rebel S. (G2) are nothing to sneeze at. Since 2017, Prat has won three races overall and accumulated more than $1 million in purse earnings at Oaklawn.

Prat at Santa Anita

Prat’s home track for much of the year has been Santa Anita, which is evident from his exceptional 296-for-1,237 (24%) resume over the main track since 2017. Far and away the leading jockey by wins during the last several winters at Santa Anita, Prat has won a seemingly countless number of stakes events at “The Great Race Place,” including the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), the 2020 American Pharoah S. (G1), and the 2018 and 2020 editions of the Robert B. Lewis S. (G3) on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.