09/03/2007 12:00AM

Prado out at least six weeks

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Jockey Edgar Prado is expected to miss a minimum of six weeks after suffering a broken right ankle during the gallop out of Saturday's seventh race at Saratoga.

Prado underwent surgery Saturday night at Albany Medical Center, during which Dr. Rick Alfred inserted a couple of screws to stabilize the ankle. Prado was expected to be released from the hospital on Sunday morning, according to his agent Bob Frieze.

"They put a cast on him, they thought they were going to have to put a plate on the right side, but they only put in a couple of screws on the left side," Frieze said. "Everything went as good as possible."

Prado finished second in the race aboard Admiral Bird and was between horses during the gallop out when, according to Frieze, Good Going Darl, bolted and hit Admiral Bird. Prado was unseated and landed awkwardly on a very firm turf course.

Frieze said the doctors told Prado he would be out at least six weeks, but it could be longer.

"Depends how it heals," Frieze said. "That would be a minimum. If it takes 8 or 10 weeks so be it. We're going to sit down and have a talk. You want to take time to get it right. We don't want to come back 90 percent, we want to come back 100 percent."

Prado, best known as the regular rider of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, had won the last two Saratoga riding titles. Prado had won 27 races at this meet, putting him in fifth place this summer.

Prado, 40, has 5,952 career victories and his horses have earned $199,566,285 in purses, placing him seventh on the all-time earnings list.