Packing two wins in 2019 Triple Crown events, one each in America and Canada, jockey Flavien Prat will journey on Monday for Fort Erie, Ontario and Tuesday's Prince of Wales Stakes, second jewel of the Canadian crown.
Prat won the Kentucky Derby when Country House was elevated from second via the disqualification of Maximum Security in May. In June, he piloted One Bad Boy – trained by Southern California-based Richard Baltas – to an outright victory in the Queen's Plate, first leg of the Canadian crown, at Woodbine.
So Prat will travel to Canada on Monday, ride the race Tuesday and be back at Del Mar on Wednesday where he is scheduled to be aboard five mounts in a seven-race card.
“I'm staying here,” Baltas said outside his Del Mar stable Saturday morning. “I didn't go to the first one either. I've got 55 horses here and 55 horses more at San Luis Rey Downs. I've got an assistant trainer there with one horse.
“If he wins, I might go to the third one, but we're running 4-5-6 a day, so I have to be here.”
Baltas has four scheduled starters Wednesday.
One Bad Boy, a son of Twirling Candy owned by Stephen A. Young's Sayjay Racing, Greg Hall and partners, broke his maiden in his third start in April at Santa Anita under Joel Rosario. Prat took over for a runner-up finish in the Alcatraz at Golden Gate Fields before the decision was made to enter the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown at Woodbine on June 29.
In a field of 14, One Bad Boy went wire-to-wire, covering 1 ¼ miles on the synthetic surface in 2:02.80 and winning by 3 ½ lengths. The victory made Prat the first jockey to complete a Kentucky Derby-Queen's Plate double since Kent Desormeaux in 1998. Desormeaux won the Derby with Real Quiet and the Plate with Archer's Bay.
“The Queen's Plate is 165 years old, actually older than the Kentucky Derby, so it's an important race,” Prat's agent Derek Lawson points out. “It was tough for Flavien to fix in his mind that he actually won the Derby because of the disqualification. You want to win it by riding past the wire first. So the Queen's Plate was very important because he won it outright. It's a little thing, but it's important to an athlete.”
One Bad Boy faces only four rivals and is the 7-5 morning line favorite for the Prince of Wales. A win would set up a shot at the Triple Crown in the Breeders' Stakes in August at Woodbine. The Candian Triple Crown races are run on three different surfaces with the order being synthetic, dirt and then grass.
“If he wins, I'll probably go for the third one,” Baltas said.
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