12/14/2015 1:02PM

Prado to miss six to eight weeks with broken ribs

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado will be sidelined at least six to eight weeks after breaking six ribs in a riding mishap Sunday at Gulfstream Park. The injuries will prevent Prado, 48, from keeping his regular seat aboard Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Runhappy when the horse makes his final 3-year-old start Dec. 26 in the Grade 1 Malibu at Santa Anita. Trainer Laura Wohlers said Monday that Gary Stevens will have the mount.

Prado, who was expected to be released from the hospital Monday, was injured when his mount, Legs Like Betty, bolted and ran into the outside rail almost immediately after the start of Sunday’s seventh race. Legs Like Betty broke from the outside post in a field of 14 2-year-old fillies in a maiden race carded at 7 1/2 furlongs over the inside turf course.

“Edgar said he had absolutely no control of her when she ducked to the outside like that,” said Bob Klesaris, Prado’s agent. “He said he was trying to bail off her when she struck the fence, and his momentum carried him into the fence post. If he had hit the railing instead of the post, he might not have been hurt as bad.”

Legs Like Betty ran off, first over the outer turf, then onto the main track, before finally being caught. She appeared to escape the incident without any serious injuries.

“The prognosis in cases like this is usually six to eight weeks,” said Klesaris. “Edgar is an athlete, and in many cases, these riders come back quicker than expected, but he’s definitely going to be sidelined for a while. Not only will it cost him the mount on Runhappy in the Malibu, but he was also scheduled to ride in several other stakes at Santa Anita over the same weekend.”

Wohlers said Prado, who mentioned Runhappy in the same breath with his most famous mount, Barbaro, immediately after winning the BC Sprint, would have the mount back once he is healthy enough to ride again.

“Naturally, we all were very disappointed to hear about what happened to Edgar and hope he recovers quickly,” Wohlers said by phone Monday from California. “He’s done a great job riding this horse, and it’s his mount again when he comes back.”

This is the third time in the past 1 1/2 years that Prado has been sidelined by injury. He sustained a hairline fracture of a vertebra in his neck as a result of a training-hours incident at Keeneland in April 2014. Last December, the Peruvian-born rider suffered lacerations on his face that required minor plastic surgery as a result of a spill at Gulfstream that kept him out of action for a little more than a week.