ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 4, 2017)—French-born sensation Flavien Prat greatly expanded his glowing resume on Saturday at Santa Anita, as he swept the track’s Late Pick Four by guiding longshot Isotherm to a half length win in the Grade 2, $200,000 San Marcos Stakes. Run at a mile and a quarter on turf, Isotherm, who is trained by George Weaver, got the distance 2:00.23.
Fourth in the Grade 2 Mathis Brothers Mile (turf) here on Dec. 26, Isotherm was dispatched today at 7-1 in a field of nine older horses and paid $17.20, $10.40 and $7.20.
In a thrilling stretch drive, Isotherm who had been mid-pack early, overhauled French-bred Itsinthepost and Tyler Baze to gain the ascendency close home.
“I was hoping he would break well, and he did, so I kinda used that to my advantage,” said Prat, who now leads Tyler Baze in the Winter Meet standings by a 28-21 margin through 24 racing days. “We didn’t go that fast so I was sitting just behind the pace and thought he’d have a good shot. It worked out well. Today, I knew I had some good shots. Everything worked out really well and I’m pretty lucky.”
Itsinthepost, who pressed A Red Tie Day while running second to the far turn, took command approaching the sixteenth pole, but was immediately tackled by the winner and had to settle for second, finishing two lengths in front of Flamboyant.
Off at 8-1, Itsinthepost paid $9.40 and $6.60.
Flamboyant, who was also bred in France, closed good ground under Brice Blanc and was up by a nose over Hi Happy for third. Off at 6-1, Flamboyant paid $5.20 to show.
Fractions on the race were 24.34, 49.07, 1:13.71 and 1:37.14.
(The Flavien Prat-Late Pick Four paid $421.45).
There is an early “Big Game Sunday” first post time at Santa Anita tomorrow of 11 a.m. for an eight-race program.
G2, $200,000 San Marcos Stakes Quotes
FLAVIEN PRAT, ISOTHERM, WINNER: “I was hoping he would break well, and he did, so I kinda used that to my advantage. We didn’t go that fast so I was sitting just behind the pace and thought he’d have a good shot. It worked out well.
“Today, I knew I had some good shots. Everything worked out really well and I’m pretty lucky.”
AUSTIN TRITES, ASSISTANT TO TRAINER GEORGER WEAVER, ISOTHERM, WINNER: “Well at the end of the day, George Weaver entrusted me here with one horse. It’s just us and we’ve had a great time. The horse has done nothing but improve.
“I think it was just the time from his soft turf try at Belmont transitioning to his time here. He’s had more time to adjust. He’s had 24 days since the Mathis Brothers Mile to settle and to relax. He was ready to post those two big works, for sure.
“Most of his trips wind up with us wanting to pull our hair out so this was amazing. Flavien Prat has a nose for the pocket and managed to get a perfect trip today.”
Source: Santa Anita Park