Velazquez, Prat Share First-Day Lead in Race for Bill Shoemaker Award
Flavien Prat © Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
DEL MAR, Calif. (Nov. 3, 2017) – John Velazquez, winner of the Longines Distaff on Forever Unbridled, and Flavien Prat, winner of the Las Vegas Dirt Mile on Battle of Midway, share the lead in the race for the Bill Shoemaker Award, given to the most outstanding jockey of the Breeders’ Cup World Championship at Del Mar racetrack.
The Shoemaker Award is based on a 10-5-3-1 scoring system on first- through fourth-place finishes in each of the 13 Breeders’ Cup World Championship races.
In addition to their victories in two of the four Championship races run Friday, Velazquez finished third on Awesome Slew in the Las Vegas Dirt Mile and Prat was third in the Longines Distaff on Paradise Woods.
Lurking close behind are Jose Ortiz (11 points on two seconds and a fourth) and Javier Castellano and Ryan Moore with 10 points each. Castellano won the Juvenile Fillies Turf on Rushing Fall and Moore won the Juvenile Turf on Mendelssohn.
The Shoemaker Award is named in honor of one of the greatest jockeys in the history of Thoroughbred racing. Shoemaker, who captured the Kentucky Derby four times, won more than 8,800 races in a career that spanned more than 40 years. In 1987, at age 56, Shoemaker won the Breeders’ Cup Classic aboard Ferdinand at Hollywood Park.