From the Paulick Report
Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado was back in the irons with four mounts on Wednesday’s card at Gulfstream Park, eight days after being injured in a spill at the track.
Prado, 47, underwent some minor plastic surgery for a laceration above his right eye and hurt his right hand after going down when his mount, Equilibrium, clipped heels with another horse in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight event on December 23.
“I think I was blessed that nothing happened worse than it did,” Prado said. “Thank God I had an angel protecting me during the fall. I am happy to come back to work. I try to stay active and get back in a rhythm, put it in the past and look forward to 2015.”
Ranked seventh with both nine wins and $258,390 in earnings during the current Championship Meet, Prado missed three racing days but had been exercising horses to prepare for his return. He finished second at the Gulfstream Park West meet at Calder with 42 wins and in money won, nearly $1.05 million.
“I was getting on horses and feeling OK,” Prado said. “It’s not the same as riding in the afternoon, but when the adrenaline kicks in you forget about everything.”
Equilibrium fell while pressing pacesetter Royal Squeeze and the two horses clipped heels when Royal Squeeze ducked out sharply near the six-furlong pole. A second horse, Saraguaro, also fell, dislodging jockey Paco Lopez, who was not injured. Royal Squeeze was disqualified and placed last.
A native of Lima, Peru, Prado was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008, two years after guiding Barbaro to victories in the Florida Derby (G1) and Kentucky Derby (G1). He has ridden the winners of 6,784 races and nearly $253 million in purses.