Kentucky Derby Jockey Profile: Flavien Prat

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

April 28th, 2021

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?

The answer is Flavien Prat, the 28-year-old rider who guided 64-1 shot 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 120 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, with a lifetime win rate of 20% over the surface. In fact, Prat seems to have a special knack for negotiating the Kentucky Derby conditions of 1 1/4 miles on dirt, compiling a solid 27-4-2-4 (14%) lifetime record under these circumstances. One of his most memorable rides came in the 2019 Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar, when Prat sprung a 5 1/4-length upset aboard the pace-tracking longshot Higher Power.

Already, 2021 is shaping up as another banner year for Prat, who picked up his 1,000th North American winner back in February. He’s already won nine graded stakes at Santa Anita this season, and he’s been named to ride Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Hot Rod Charlie in the Kentucky Derby, opening the door for a second victory in America’s greatest horse race.

What are Jockey Flavien Prat's Records related to the Kentucky Derby?

Below are statistics for Prat's efforts at race tracks with more than two Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races, plus lifetime data at the 1 1/4 mile distance and Churchill Downs specifically.

Lifetime record over 1 1/4 miles on dirt:

Starts Wins Places Thirds
27 4 2 4
  Win % ITM % ROI %
  15% 37% 216%

Lifetime record in the Kentucky Derby:

Starts Wins Places Thirds
3 1 0 1
  Win % ITM % ROI %
  33% 67% 221%

Lifetime record stats compiled by Ed DeRosa and are through 2020.

All stats from Jan. 1, 2016 through April 20, 2021. Generated by STATSMASTER, Powered by TrackMaster, an Equibase Company

Prat doesn’t ride 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:

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 4-for-26 (15%) record over the main track also includes a romping win in the 2016 Humana Distaff (G1) aboard Taris and a third-place finish in the 2017 Kentucky Derby when guiding longshot Battle of Midway.

Prat at Gulfstream Park

Prat hasn’t enjoyed the best of luck over the Gulfstream dirt, going 0-for-12 since 2016, 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

Victory has likewise proven elusive for Prat over the Keeneland main track, where he’s gone 0-for-24 since 2016. But those stats are at least a little deceiving; six of Prat’s defeats came when riding in ultra-competitive races during the 2020 Breeders’ Cup program at Keeneland.

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 (G2) are nothing to sneeze at. Since 2016, Prat has won three allowance races and cracked the trifecta in a quartet of graded stakes at Oaklawn good for earnings in excess of $900,000.

Prat at Santa Anita

Prat’s home track for much of the year is Santa Anita, which is evident from his exceptional 261-for-1,248 (21%) resume over the main track since 2016. Far and away the leading jockey by wins during the last two 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 (G1), and the 2018 and 2020 editions of the Robert B. Lewis (G3) on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.