Star jockey Flavien Prat tested positive for COVID-19 Sunday following a trip to Kentucky for a riding assignment, and will quarantine at his home for at least 10 days, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club officials confirmed.
Prat was tested at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla around noon and received a report of a positive test approximately 90 minutes later. He had been named to ride eight horses at Del Mar Sunday but was removed from all those mounts.
Del Mar requires all riders traveling from other jurisdictions to be tested prior to being able to ride at the track.
Del Mar will test all jockeys and jockeys’ room personnel before its next day of racing, Friday.
Jockey Victor Espinoza had tested positive for COVID-19 Friday. He is also isolating at home. He was scheduled to ride on Del Mar’s opening day Friday but was removed from his mounts.
Prat is the fourth thoroughbred jockey to have ridden at Los Alamitos Race Course on July 4 to have tested positive for the coronavirus, following Luis Saez, Martin Garcia and Espinoza.
Eduard Kennis Rojas Fernandez, a quarter-horse jockey who rides at Los Alamitos, has also tested positive. He rode three horses July 3 and two July 5 at Los Alamitos’ nighttime quarter-horse meeting, according to the Los Angeles Times. There was no nighttime racing July 4.
“It is encouraging that in both cases our protocols worked,” Del Mar CEO Joe Harper said. “We will continue to be vigilant to ensure the safety of the people who work here and live in our community.”
Prat rode the 65-1 shot Country House to the victory in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, a race best remembered for the disqualification of Maximum Security for veering into the path of another horse. Saez was riding Maximum Security.
Prat was the riding champion at Del Mar’s 2017 and 2019 summer meets and 2017 fall meet and shared the 2016 summer meet title with Rafael Bejarano.
— City News Service