Prado gallops to 3rd in single-season wins Four victories at Laurel put jockey at 517 for year, moving him past Hawley


December 15, 1997|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Jockey Edgar Prado reached another plateau at Laurel Park yesterday, riding four winners to move past Canadian Sandy Hawley's 515 in a year.

Prado's total of 517 victories places him third on the all-time list behind Chris McCarron (546 in 1974) and Kent Desormeaux (598 in 1989) among riders campaigning in North America.

With nine racing days remaining in 1997, Prado is not likely to approach Desormeaux's record, but he could challenge McCarron by averaging slightly more than three victories daily.

Asked if he could do that, Prado replied: "I'm trying. I always try."

Prado's victories yesterday were on Cherokee Dazzler ($3.80 in the second), Bud Russell ($4.40 in the third), Sweeter Half ($6.40 in the fifth) and Our Toby ($7.40 in the eighth).

The Peruvian-born jockey reached 500 two weeks ago, but missed one day last week after being thrown from a horse.

Prado's next milestone should be 3,000 lifetime winners, a figure attained by approximately 55 jockeys. He currently has 2,991.

Bill Shoemaker is the record holder with 8,833 amassed over 42 years.

The Maryland-based Prado is a cinch to win the North American riding title this year. He is approximately 100 winners ahead of Russell Baze, currently campaigning at Golden Gate Park in Northern California.

Prado's first winner was June 1, 1986, at Calder in Florida.

Crab Grass has enough

Palette Knife was the second choice in yesterday's feature under Prado, but the decision went to the late-running Crab Grass, with Steve Hamilton aboard.

Prado's mount was beaten by two noses by Crab Grass, who paid $17.80, and Secret Prospect, who, after being blocked on the rail by the leaders, surged for second.

The victory in the $54,900 Contrary Rose Stakes was worth $32,940 to Crab Grass's connections.

"We settled a little off the pace and, when it came time to run, we got the best of them," Hamilton said.

It was the first stakes win for Crab Grass, trained by Tiffany Tagg.

Et cetera

Breeder's Crown events at Colonial Downs are scheduled for the weekends of Nov. 7-8 and 14-15. Cards will be filled with other attractive races, including Virginia-bred stakes finals.

Ocean Downs is being considered as a site for a professional soccer team and a minor-league football team.

Pub Date: 12/15/97

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