Members of the Parx Racing jockey colony gathered in the winner’s circle after the sixth race May 15 to congratulate winning rider Edgar Prado, who secured the 7,000th victory of his career aboard Thefundsarelow in the one-mile claiming race.
Prado moved the Anthony Merlino homebred into a stalking position along the rail going into the first turn, then stalked a slow pace and moved off the rail to seize the lead turning for home on his way to a half-length victory.
Prado, 50, originally from Lima, Peru, is just the eighth North American-based rider to reach 7,000 wins.
“It’s a big accomplishment in my career,” Prado told America’s Best Racing, adding that a lot of great horses and great people helped make it possible. “I’m very thankful, very humbled.”
Prado laughed a bit as he apologized for not getting the milestone win in front of all his friends in Maryland, his longtime base where he’s registered 3,330 wins. He’ll ride at Pimlico Race Course May 17 and 18. “But I’m very happy for this accomplishment and know the fans will share in that.”
Prado is best known as the rider aboard 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner Barbaro, as well as for his sportsmanship and horsemanship. After Barbaro broke down in the Preakness Stakes (G1) and had surgery at New Bolton Center, Prado visited the injured classic winner there. Prado is the author of the book, “My Guy Barbaro: A Jockey’s Journey Through Love, Triumph, and Heartbreak.”
In the book Prado wrote that he continued to receive cards and letters from fans long after Barbaro’s Derby win and Preakness injury. He wrote of the experience, “I lived it and I’m so happy and grateful I did. But I’ll never be the same. I realize that now. I have gone on with my life and back to my place in an intensely competitive sport. But I’ll never feel entirely whole again.
“A little piece of me is gone.”
Prado earned the Eclipse Award as outstanding jockey in 2006.
Inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 2008, Prado is also known for his upset victories in the Belmont Stakes (G1) aboard Sarava in 2002 and Birdstone in 2004. Those wins foiled the Triple Crown attempts of War Emblem and Smarty Jones , respectively.
He is a five-time Breeders’ Cup winner, with a pair of those victories coming in the Sprint (G1) aboard Runhappy in 2015 and Silver Train in 2005. He also won the 2005 Juvenile Fillies (G1) with Folklore, the 2006 Distaff (G1) with Round Pond, and 2010 Filly and Mare Turf (G1T) with Shared Account.
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