Fifth Jockey Who Raced at Los Alamitos Tests Positive For Coronavirus
CYPRESS, CA—JULY 12, 2020—According to an article by John Cherwa published today on the Los Angeles Times website, a fifth jockey who raced at Los Alamitos on the Fourth of July weekend has contracted the Coronavirus.
Southern California’s leading Thoroughbred rider, Flavien Prat, tested positive for the coronavirus, after returning to Del Mar from riding at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky. Prat failed a test Sunday morning to confirm his eligibility to ride at Del Mar.
“We went to get tested at the request of Del Mar to follow protocols,” said Derek Lawson, Prat’s agent. “We went to a facility in La Jolla and stayed in the car with the throat and nose culture. Then they called and said he tested positive.
“They told him to lay low for a while and see if the symptoms get worse, but now he feels fine. He’s on a 10-day quarantine.”
Lawson believes Prat possibly picked up the virus at Los Alamitos. .
“There is no way it happened at Keeneland,” Lawson said. “It was likely something that transpired at Los Al from the last time he was riding over there. It could be some kind of hot spot, but we don’t know.” .
Dr. Ed Allred, who owns and operates Los Alamitos, said he doesn’t know whether the track was the source of the outbreak. .
“This is all anecdotal because we don’t know,” Allred said. “We had some riders come in from back East that had a few mounts. We take temperatures before every race as part of our protocols. We’ve given the Orange County health department all the information we have. They’ve been telling us how to handle things.”
Allred said the track has had only one positive on the backside, a 60-year-old groom six or seven weeks ago.
Prat joins Victor Espinoza, Martin Garcia, Luis Saez and Quarter Horse jockey Eduard Kennis Rojas Fernandez in testing positive for the virus. All have few to no symptoms and all the thoroughbred jockeys raced July 4, the biggest day of the Los Alamitos seven-day meeting.
Garcia, who normally rides in the Midwest, came in and rode three horses at Los Alamitos on July 3 and 4 before going to Prairie Meadows on July 5. Garcia tested positive the next day at Keeneland.
Saez, who rode three horses at Los Alamitos on July 4, then went on to ride at Belmont, Indiana Grand and Keeneland before he tested positive at the Kentucky track.
Rojas Fernandez rode three horses July 3 and two July 5 at Los Alamitos’ nighttime quarter-horse meeting. There was no nighttime racing July 4.