Each week, a series of jockeys at Del Mar will share their thoughts in interviews with members of the TVG team on the weekend’s card and reflect on some of their favorite racing memories.
By Flavien Prat (as told to Joaquin Jaime)
In Saturday’s Grade 2 John C. Mabee Stakes, I’m on Going to Vegas for Richard Baltas and she’s really consistent. She always runs well, I’ve been on her in the mornings and she’s training well. She’s pretty straightforward. She has good speed out of the gate and she usually puts herself in the race and runs a good race, so I’m expecting a good run.
In the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby, I’m on Hudson Ridge. I don’t know much about him as far as being on him, I’ve never been on him, but I rode against him and felt like he’s run some good races. The other day he got involved in a bumping incident down the lane and I don’t know exactly if he would have run better. But I think he has a really good draw and he should run a good race as well.
(On coming out of the one hole)
Well you definitely want to get a good break because otherwise you’re going to get shuffled back. But you definitely at least want to go get yourself in a good spot going in to the first turn, get out of the chute clean and from there, try to find the right horse to follow. With the one hole, you definitely want to break and get going. To me, it’s a big advantage to be on the inside. It’s really hard when you draw outside to get a good position because either you’re going to make a lot of effort and pay the price at the end or you going to just take back and then it’s depends on the pace. So it’s usually a good advantage to be inside.
In the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante, I’m on Grace Adler for Bob Baffert. She had a good run last time. She broke well and kind of sat back on her own. It took a little bit to get herself going again, and she really start running like just the last eighth of a mile so definitely I think the distance is going to help her. It’s going to be a huge help for her I think. She won going five and a half because she showed some class but that’s definitely not her ideal distance.
In the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity, I’ll be on Murray for Bob Baffert. He’s really straightforward. In his first start, he broke well and did everything right act, he acted like an older horse and showed some talent and a lot of experience for first timer. I really liked him same thing i think you know going seven eighths is going to be a plus, so we should run a good race as well.
We pretty much all of us in the same boat as far as experience only probably the horse of Mark Casse (Pappacap) has more experience. Otherwise I think we all in the same boat with the horses that don’t have much of experience, but that’s part of the race – they’re going to learn. Either they’re going to move forward or stay in the same stage, but it seems like Murray is a good horse and hopefully he can improve.