Friday Notes: Prado to Ride Palace Malice in Louisiana Derby
By Graham Ross, Staff Writer
NEW ORLEANS (Friday, March 08, 2013) – Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado, who rode Lael Stable’s legendary Barbaro to victory in the 2006 Kentucky Derby and was later voted North America’s Eclipse Award-winning jockey that season, will return to the Crescent City oval for the first time this season to ride Dogwood Stable’s Palace Malice in the 100th anniversary edition of the $1 million Louisiana Derby March 30 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Prado, inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame at Saratoga in 2008, rode Courtlandt Farms’ Machen to a fifth-place finish in the Louisiana Derby two years ago. Earlier that afternoon, he won the Grade II Mervin H. Muniz Memorial Handicap aboard Augustin Stables’ Smart Bid for trainer Graham Motion.
“It’s always nice to come to New Orleans to ride in the Louisiana Derby because it’s the biggest race there is down there and I was lucky to win (the Louisiana Derby) with (Edmund Gann’s) Peace Rules,” Prado said at the time.
Palace Malice, conditioned by five-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher, finished third in the Grade II Risen Star Stakes as the final prep for the Louisiana Derby last month under a different rider.
“Edgar once suffered a broken leg while riding a horse of ours named Admiral Bird,” Dogwood president Cot Campbell said Friday afternoon, speaking over the phone from the farm’s headquarters in Aiken, South Carolina. “We’ve always felt bad about that, but maybe we can make it up to him if Palace Malice wins the Louisiana Derby.
“Our horse is doing great,” said Campbell. “He’s been getting a little gate schooling lately because he was somewhat of a reluctant load at Fair Grounds last month and also at Saratoga last summer. I think the plan Todd has right now for him is to breeze him a half (at South Florida’s Palm Meadows Training Center) on Sunday and then next Sunday go five-eighths with Edgar aboard.
“Edgar has ridden a lot for us over the years,” said Campbell. “He’s not only a Hall of Fame jockey but he’s also a tremendous gentleman and has always represented the kinds of things that are good about our sport.”
CONDITIONER KEITH DESORMEAUX CELEBRATES TRAINING DOUBLE THURSDAY – Trainer Keith Desormeaux, who saddled the biggest winner of his career when Big Chief Racing’s Ive Struck a Nerve won this year’s Grade II Risen Star Stakes for a $272.40 win payoff, continued the best winter of his Fair Grounds career by saddling a training double Thursday, vaulting him into eighth place in the local trainer standings.
Desormeaux saddled Big Chief Racing’s Always Broke in Thursday’s fifth race for a $7.40 win price and came right back in the sixth with Don’t Tell My Wife Stables’ Raiseanothergator, who rewarded his backers with a $12.40 straight price.
TRAINER MIKE MAKER APPROACHING THE 1,000-CAREER WIN MILESTONE – Trainer Mike Maker entered Friday’s racing day with 996 wins – four shy of the coveted 1,000-win milestone.
Maker had one horse entered at Gulfstream Friday, with two more at Turfway Park and two at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
FG CHART CALLER TERPEVICH WON DUNCAN KENNER STAKES AS A TRAINER—Equibase chart caller Steve Terpevich has been serving in that capacity at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots for the last two decades, but before that, in another life as a trainer, he saddled G.P. Stables’ Construction to win the 1987 Duncan F. Kenner Stakes.
The Duncan Kenner, now a $150,000 listed stakes, celebrates its 60th anniversary edition on Saturday.
Terpevich and Construction also teamed up to win the 1987 Mardi Gras Stakes and captured the 1986 F. W. Gaudin Memorial.
“He was a very fast horse who could outrun my training,” Terpevich said earlier this week.