02/19/2013 3:17PM

Gulfstream Park: Prado back in Hall of Fame form

Barbara D. Livingston
Graydar gave Edgar Prado his first Grade 1 win since the 2010 Breeders' Cup.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Hall of Fame rider Edgar Prado entered the 2012-13 Gulfstream Park meet with a new agent and high hopes, but not a lot of established business to hang his helmet on.

Eleven weeks into the session, Prado has himself a Grade 1 winner, a clientele base that is growing on a daily basis, and is riding as good as any jockey on the grounds.

Prado, 45, posted just 12 victories during the opening two months of the meet. He’s won 13 more races since Feb. 1 alone, including the Grade 1 Donn Handicap for trainer Todd Pletcher aboard Graydar and Saturday’s Grade 3 The Very One with Starformer for fellow Hall of Famer Bill Mott. He also finished second here last weekend aboard Teaks North in the Grade 3 Mac Diarmida.

“Things have really changed over the last couple of weeks due to a number of reasons,” Prado said. “I’ve been working hard the whole meet and I’ve called upon my experience and changed a few little things here and there along the way. I’ve been riding smart and perhaps most important with a lot more confidence than before. I’ve also been riding a lot of good horses and making the most of the opportunities I’ve been given. Everything is just falling into place.”

Prado said having the mount on Graydar was a big factor in his recent resurgence. Prado has ridden Graydar in all four of his starts, winning three of those races including an allowance earlier in the meet as a prelude to his three-length victory Feb. 9 in the Donn.

“Graydar was a big plus for me,” Prado said. “Todd was very nice to let me keep riding the horse – the same with Billy Mott and Starformer. The success of those two horses alone helps brings a lot of customers back.”

The Donn was Prado’s first Grade 1 win since he captured the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf aboard Shared Account in 2010 and his first at Gulfstream since combining with Pletcher to win the 2007 Florida Derby with Scat Daddy.

Prado also credited his agent, former trainer Bob Klesaris, as another major factor in his success this winter.

“Bobby has done a great job for me since taking my book during the fall,” Prado said. “It’s kind of ironic because he also gave me my first big opportunity shortly after I came to this country, riding me in Boston and then taking me to Maryland, where my career really took off. Now, we’re back together again.”

Prado says he and Klesaris are planning to return to New York at the end of this meet, although he acknowledged that things could change.

“I guess it all depends upon where our business takes us,” Prado said. “Like everybody else, we’re looking for a big 3-year-old, and I also have a lot of business with turf horses for Mott and Graham Motion, so you never can tell.”

Tony Volu More than 1 year ago
edgar,you are one of the best.i see you trying on 40 to 1 shots as hard as a 1to 1 shot. i hope to see you in the derby this year and then ill know know who has a shot.good luck now and in the future.hey ,my buddy gave me a signed head shot of you and barbaro so lets get another OK?
Sol Geno More than 1 year ago
after the barbaro incident Prado really seemed like he lost interest and then he had a big fallout with Tony Dutrow. I can also remember after his fall in 07 he seemed like he was shy to go up the inside with closers. But now he is winning mainly with speed types and i do see him go inside with some a few horses with little success. He was my favorite betting jock at one time and I hope he keeps it up
Kim Curtsinger More than 1 year ago
Glad to see Edgar having success again. He's one of the good guys.
Lise McLain More than 1 year ago
Hi! So nice to see that Edgar Prado is back on top once again. Good for him. It was Edgar and Barbaro that got me interested in thoroughbred horse racing. Good luck, Edgar! Lise from Maine
John Kariofillas More than 1 year ago
great to see prado back to his hall of fame form he has ridden some great horses and i have never forgotten about him only active jockey to be in top ten of all time both in wins and earnings big accomplishment
Rick Baldwin More than 1 year ago
A good agent means a lot to any jock. But with so many good riders & agents at Gulf,luck plays a big part too.
Mauricio Samuel Farias Gomez More than 1 year ago
Great to see Edgar back in winning form also to read what the fans say about him, well deserved as he is a top profesional and a real good person
Mauricio Samuel Farias Gomez More than 1 year ago
`Nice to see Edgar riding in great form again also to read what the fans have to say about him what is very well deserved
thomas More than 1 year ago
betting horses 40 yrs, biggest score was when Edgar brought home Barbaro in the KD. hit big ex, tri & super. thanks Edgar and welcome back to the winners circle.
Rick Baldwin More than 1 year ago
I had that Exacta too-the biggest of my life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Edgar is a class act and poetry in motion on horseback.