Updated on 09/17/2011 10:47AM

Prado best by a nose in final race


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - It was a nose decision. Edgar Prado won a photo for show in the final race to capture the National Thoroughbred Racing Association All-Star Jockey Championship by a point from Shane Sellers.

The four-race competition, which annually matches 12 of the nation's top riders, was held for the seventh time Friday night at Lone Star Park.

Prado, who became the first two-time winner of the event, scored 22 points over the four races while Sellers earned 21. Jose Santos finished third with 15.

Through the All-Star Wager, which enabled patrons to make bets on how the riders would fare in the competition, Prado paid $18.80 on a $2 win ticket. He also topped a $269.60 exacta with Sellers and a $2,570.20 trifecta with Santos.

Russell Baze finished fifth as the 7-2 favorite.

Prado said winning the Jockey Championship this year was perhaps more meaningful than when he first captured the event in 2000.

"The difference is that they named the trophy the Pincay," he said. "It's more important."

Laffit Pincay Jr., who retired after suffering an injury in March as the sport's career leader in victories, was the guest of honor at the Jockey Championship.

The competition was composed of the fourth, fifth, seventh, and eighth races, with riders earning points based on their finishes. Heading into the final race, six riders had a chance to win.

Prado was in the hunt early. He finished second in the fifth race with D C Storm to earn six points. Prado returned to win the seventh race with Haillye's A.T.M. ($31.60).

He picked up 12 points for the win, giving him an 18-15 advantage over Sellers heading into the eighth race. But when Sellers finished second in that final leg, earning six points, it was crucial that Prado win the photo for show aboard 9-1 shot Run Zeal Run to pick up four points instead of three. The difference was the win over Sellers.

"I was kind of concerned when Shane flew by me inside, and I thought, 'Oh my gosh,' " said Prado.

Prado earned $25,000 of the $200,000 in prize money available to the riders for winning the championship. Sellers picked up $20,000 for second place while Santos earned $18,000.

The competition got off to an exciting start when Sellers used a rail-skimming ride to win the fourth race with Pager, who paid $40.80.

In the fifth, Robby Albarado picked up his first win in a Jockey Championship race in four appearances when Max's Friend ($18) won by a head over D C Storm.

"It's very special to get off the duck here at the Jockey Challenge," said Albarado.

After Prado's score in the seventh, Santos won the eighth by a neck aboard Proven Cure ($8.60), the lone winning favorite during the championship races .

The betting pool for the All-Star Wager was $94,873, down from $111,706 in 2002. From all sources, Lone Star handled $4,295,088 on its 10-race card Friday night. Attendance was 13,558.

Last year, handle on the Jockey Championship card was $4.4 million, and attendance was 14,382.

The Jockey Championship serves as a fund-raiser for the Disabled Jockeys' Endowment. Lone Star donated 1 percent of the handle on the four Jockey Championship races, as well as the All-Star Wager, to the fund.

The endowment aids the 47 permanently disabled members of the National Jockeys' Guild. Earlier on Friday, a live auction raised over $37,000 for the fund.