(Jockey Edgar Prado / Photo Courtesy of NYRA)
From the Gulfstream Park Media Team:
Prado, who turns 53 June 12, is named on 3-year-old gelding Mountain Tree in Race 1, 3-year-old filly By His Grace in Race 3 and 3-year-old colt Make a Move in Race 6 – all maiden claiming events on the turf. Mountain Tree is second on a list of four also-eligibles.
“I’m very excited to come back. I’ve been watching the way things have been going there and Gulfstream is doing a great job keeping everybody safe,” Prado said.
Prado voluntarily stepped away March 26 with three days remaining in Gulfstream’s 2019-2020 Championship Meet out of concern for his family during the coronavirus pandemic. Prado enjoyed a career resurgence during the prestigious winter stand, ranking tied for 11th in wins (25) and 15th in purses earned ($807,710).
Among Prado’s victories were Sally’s Curlin 10-1 upset of the Hurricane Bertie (G3) March 14, With Verve in the Feb. 29 Hutcheson for 3-year-olds, and Soros in the Smooth Air for 2-year-olds Nov. 30.
“It was a tough decision to make, but I have my family here, my grandkids, and I got outvoted,” Prado said. “Everything was up in the air. Nothing was for sure, so we decided not to take any chances.”
Prado said he remained home in South Florida during his down time. His last start was a win in the final race on the March 26 program aboard Philip DiCosmo’s 6-year-old gelding Belgrano, giving the Lima, Peru native 7,057 career victories and tying him with retired Hall of Famer Angel Cordero Jr. for eighth on the all-time list.
Ranking just ahead of Prado with 7,066 wins is 66-year-old Perry Outzs, who is based in the Midwest but hasn’t ridden since July 28, 2019 at Belterra Park in Cincinnati. They are two of just nine riders with 7,000 or more wins in North America, led by Russell Baze’s 12,842.
Best known as the rider of ill-fated 2006 Florida Derby (G1) and Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Barbaro, Prado has won the Eclipse Award (2006), George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award (2003) and Mike Venezia Memorial Award (2006); led the nation in wins from 1997-99; has won the Belmont Stakes twice (2002, 2004) and five Breeders’ Cup races; and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2008.
“Hopefully I can pass [Cordero] sooner rather than later and then go after Perry Ouzts,” Prado said. “He’s in close range, so hopefully God keeps me healthy and I’ll be able to make up some distance and then continue to ride, get some momentum and keep rolling.”