Barbaro’s jockey, Edgar Prado, celebrates after winning the 132nd Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., in this May 6, 2006 photo. Prado and fellow jockey Alex Solis are among 12 finalists for horse racing’s Hall of Fame, it was announced Friday.AP Photo
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Jockey Edgar Prado, who won the 2006 Kentucky Derby aboard Barbaro and was in the saddle when the popular thoroughbred broke down during the Preakness Stakes, was among 12 finalists for the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame.
Jockeys Randy Romero and Alex Solis and trainers Carl Nafzger and Robert Wheeler were among the nominees, announced Friday.Prado, a two-time winner of the Belmont Stakes, captured his 6,000th race on Feb. 10 and earned more than $200 million during his 25-year career.
But Prado likely will be remembered as the rider of Barbaro, the Derby winner who captured the hearts of the nation after his stirring win in the first jewel of the Triple Crown.
Barbaro suffered a severe injury at Pimlico early in the second leg of the Triple Crown and was euthanized about eight months after developing the hoof disease laminitis.
Contemporary female horses nominated were Inside Information, Open Mind, Silverbulletday and Sky Beauty. Male horses were Best Pal, Manila and Tiznow.
Prado, the 40-year-old native of Peru, captured the 2002 Belmont with Sarava and did it again two years later atop Birdstone. He is the 16th rider in North America to win 6,000 races.
Romero had 4,294 victories and purse earnings of $75 million during a 26-year career that ended in 1999. The 50-year-old Romero won 122 graded stakes.
The 43-year-old Solis won his first race in 1981 in his native Panama and through the end of 2007 had 4,534 victories, purse earnings of $205 million and 280 graded stakes victories.
Nafzger, a former rodeo rider from Texas, trained two Kentucky Derby winners: Unbridled in 1990 and Street Sense in 2007. Through the end of 2007, Nafzger had 1,068 victories, purse earnings of $50 million and 68 graded stakes wins.
Wheeler, who died in 1992, conditioned C.V. Whitney’s Silver Spoon, the co-champion 3-year-old filly of 1959. Silver Spoon defeated males in the 1959 Santa Anita Derby and the next year, Wheeler won the Santa Anita again with Tompion.
The last time she raced, Inside Information won the 1995 Breeders’ Cup Distaff by 13 lengths, still a record.She won 14 of 17 career starts and earned $1.6 million.
Open Mind was the champion 2-year-old filly of 1988 and 3-year-old champion the next year. She retired with a career record of 12 wins in 19 starts, earning $1.8 million.
Silverbulletday was the champion 2-year-old filly of 1998 and the champion 3-year-old filly of 1999. She won 15 of 23 career starts and earned $3.1 million.
Sky Beauty won the New York Filly Triple Crown and the Alabama in 1993 and was champion older filly or mare of 1994. She retired with 15 victories in 21 starts and earnings of $1.3 million.
Best Pal won 17 stakes and earned more than $5.6 million. He won most of the top races on the West Coast.Manila was the Breeders’ Cup Turf winner and the male grass horse champion of 1986. He won 12 of 18 races and earned $2.7 million.
Tiznow, the only two-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, won eight of 15 starts and earned $6.4 million. He was the 3-year-old champion and Horse of the Year in 2000 and the champion older male in 2001.