Jockey Edgar Prado moved past fellow Hall of Famer Angel Cordero to grab sole possession of eighth place in the all-time standings for races won with victory No. 7,058 Thursday at Gulfstream Park.
The 52-year-old Lima, Peru, native scored aboard Wesley Ward-trained Flying Aletha, who defeated stablemate Lime by 5 1/2 lengths in the five-furlong sprint for 2-year-old fillies, which was transferred from the turf course to the main track.
“I’m very excited. After the recent setback with the quarantine and the coronavirus, I’m glad to be back and riding again,” Prado said. “I’m extremely excited and happy to pass a legend like Cordero. The next goal is eight away, so hopefully we can get there sooner than later.”
Prado moved to within eight victories of still-active Perry Wayne Ouzts, who ranks seventh on the all-time list.
Prado hustled Flying Aletha out of the gate to beat Lime, the 2-5 favourite ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., for pacesetting honours on the backstretch. The daughter of Tiznow withstood a mild challenge from her stablemate before drawing away to a comfortable victory.
“The plan was to let the other horse get to the lead and follow her but when my horse broke so good, going five furlongs with an inside post, I didn’t even think about it,” Prado said. “I just let her go and she was very comfortable, and when I asked her she responded. Once she got to running and I wasn’t next to that horse, she was just looking for competition so I had to stay busy and keep her mind on business.”
CJ Thoroughbreds LLC’s Flying Aletha, who was purchased for $175,000 at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July sale, ran five furlongs in 58.73 seconds after setting fractions of 22.66 and 46.21 for the first half-mile. Lime, who finished second in her April 16 debut at Gulfstream, finished 6 1/2 lengths clear of Whistler Dixie and Victor Lebron.
Flying Aletha was making her debut Thursday, following several impressive workouts on turf at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream Park’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County.
“She’s been working unbelievable at Palm Meadows on the turf. For her to do what she did today on the dirt and beat my other filly, who was 2-5, really says a lot about her,” Ward said. “She’s going to have a big future.”
Ward said both Flying Aletha and Lime are candidates for future stakes in Europe.
Ward was especially pleased that Prado reached his latest milestone aboard one of his horses.
“Isn’t that nice? I rode with him here at Calder when he first came to this country. We rode together at Calder in 1987,” said Ward, the Eclipse Award-winning apprentice in 1984.
Prado, who rode as an apprentice in Peru, began riding in the U.S. in 1986. He notched his first win aboard Single Love at Calder on June 1, 1986. The 53-year-old jockey, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008, has amassed countless highlights during his illustrious career, including a Kentucky Derby (G1) win aboard Barbaro in 2006, when he was honoured with an Eclipse Award as North America’s outstanding jockey, and Belmont Stakes (G1) wins aboard Birdstone (2004) and Sarava (2002), as well as five Breeder’s Cup victories.
Prado’s mounts have earned nearly US$270 million in purses.