STANTON, Del. -- Edgar Prado has decided to ride the next month and a half at Saratoga, a move that could mean the end of his illustrious career in Maryland.
Between races yesterday at Delaware Park, Prado said he will begin riding at Saratoga on Wednesday, opening day. He is slated to ride three horses that day for John Kimmel, one of New York's leading trainers.
"After that, we'll play it day by day and see what happens," Prado said.
Asked whether he might remain in New York after Saratoga's 36-day meet ends in September, Prado said: "If we're doing super, we'll maybe think about it. If we're not, we can always come back.
"But why would you want to come back if you're doing super? It'd be a nice trampoline just to keep on going."
Kimmel asked Prado to come to Saratoga and ride some of his horses after Richard Migliore, Kimmel's regular jockey, broke his right arm in a spill. Migliore will be sidelined at least three months.
Kimmel and Prado discussed the move last week, but Prado wanted assurances that he would ride enough of Kimmel's horses to make it worthwhile. Also, Prado wanted to take his own agent, Steve Rushing. Kimmel had suggested that Prado use Migliore's agent.
"I'm going to give him a decent shot on horses in the afternoon, see him work some horses in the morning," Kimmel said here before saddling Unbridled Hope in the Delaware Handicap. "There's no commitment on either one of our sides. We'll just see how it works out."
As for Prado's agent (an agent books a jockey's mounts), Kimmel said: "It's not my business to tell him which agent to use. He tried to make this move before. I just think if he'd had a New York agent it might have been a little easier for him. This guy [Migliore's agent] is pretty tight with some of the trainers."
With Rushing as his agent, Prado rode two months in New York in 1993. It didn't work out, and they returned to Maryland.
Prado, 32, has been Maryland's premier jockey throughout the 1990s. He led North American riders in wins the past two years, and he has a sizable lead this year.
Yesterday, aboard Kimmel's Unbridled Hope in the Delaware Handicap, Prado finished third.