French-born jockeys Flavien Prat and Julien Leparoux will be at opposite ends of the country from their home bases on Saturday aboard two of the best female runners in America.
Prat will be at Saratoga to ride Bellafina in the Test Stakes on Saturday while Leparoux will be here for the assignment on Vasilika in the Grade II $200,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes.
Prat has ridden Vasilika in her last 13 starts, of which 12 have been wins. But a conflict of races for Vasilika and Bellafina, a Prat mount for all of her nine starts, created a problem for Prat and his agent, Derek Lawson.
The solution: a deal with Leparoux and his agent, Steve Bass, amenable to the Vasilika and Bellafina connections, that allows Prat to keep his commitment to 3-year-old Del Mar Debutante and Santa Anita Oaks winner Bellafina while Leparoux gets a one-time opportunity on the 5-year-old Vasilika.
Eight rivals were entered to take on Vasilika in the 1 1/16-mile turf race as the former $40,000 claimer attempts to stay unbeaten for the year in her fifth 2019 start.
The entrants in alphabetical order (with jockeys in parentheses) are: Beau Recall (Drayden Van Dyke), Causeforcommotion (Norberto Arroyo, Jr.), Elysea's World (Joe Talamo), Lemoona (Mario Gutierrez), Storm The Hill (Rafael Bejarano),Toinette (Ruben Fuentes), Valedictorian (C. J. Hernandez) and Youngest Daughter (Brice Blanc).
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