Flavien Prat, the top rider in southern California, became the fifth jockey in recent days to test positive for COVID-19.
After riding in five stakes at Keeneland on Saturday, Prat was tested on Sunday upon his return to Del Mar and the positive result became known awaiting Sunday's program. He was taken off all scheduled mounts and agent Derek Lawson said Prat would miss a minimum of 10 days.
Del Mar confirmed the positive test on Twitter and noted all riders and jockeys' room personnel would be tested for coronavirus in the coming days.
Flavien Prat has tested positive for COVID-19 and is off all his mounts today. He will quarantine at home for at least 10 days.
All riders and jockeys’ room personnel will be tested prior to racing this Friday.— Del Mar Racetrack (@DelMarRacing) July 12, 2020
Of the five jockeys known to have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week, four rode the July 4 program at Los Alamitos: Prat, Luis Saez, Victor Espinoza and Martin Garcia. The fifth rider, Gerard Melancon, tested positive last Sunday while riding at Lone Star Park.
Saez was slated to be back in southern California to ride Maximum Security in Saturday's San Diego Handicap (G2). He will be replaced in the irons by Abel Cedillo. Prat will miss his scheduled mount aboard Higher Power in the San Diego.
Prat has won at a 25% clip this year and was a dominant winner of the jockey's title at the Santa Anita winter-spring meet. He ranks seventh in purse money won this season with more than $5.4 million.