Nearly a month since his last mount – and after traveling to Peru to mourn the loss of his father – Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado will return to the saddle Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
“It happened suddenly,” said Prado of the death of his father, Jose. “I went to see him in the hospital, but he passed away before I could get there.”
Prado, one of 12 children, said returning to Peru has brought back a lot of memories, feelings, and appreciation.
“Everything I know I learned from him,” said Prado of his father, an assistant trainer and groom. “He was very dedicated to his horses, and I learned to love and respect horses through him.
“When you go back you start thinking, especially when you start opening boxes of memories. Your mind starts to go back, and you think about everything that has happened in your life. You realize in order to achieve success sometimes you have to risk something…you pay the price of missing parents and family. But maybe I would have missed more if I didn’t take the chance.”
Prado returns Saturday with two mounts for trainer Timothy Hamm. In the second race, Prado rides the debuting 2-year-old colt Cloud Play, a son of Into Mischief bred and owned by Patricia Pavlish. In the fifth, a maiden claiming event on the turf, Prado rides Mission Brief.
Prado, who is represented by agent Cliff Hopmans, is three wins shy of 7,100 and is ranked eighth all-time in wins. The 53-year-old is 45 wins shy of surpassing Chris McCarron for seventh. Prado, who makes his home in South Florida, says he is looking forward to getting back in the saddle.
“I feel good, physically and mentally,” he said. “My kids want me to stop, but I like what I’m doing. I feel a passion for the game, and I love winning and riding.”
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