Maryland's leading jockey, Edgar Prado, is expected to pick up his third Breeders' Cup mount next week, on Harry and Tom Meyerhoff's 2-year-old colt, Western Echo, in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Louisville's Churchill Downs on Nov. 5.
Prado rode in two Breeders' Cup races in 1992 at Gulfstream Park. Although he finished off the board in the Classic with Jolie's Halo and in the Juvenile Fillies with Booly, he won a $100,000 stakes on the undercard aboard the John Salzman-trained Departing Cloud.
Western Echo was pre-entered for the Breeders' Cup on Monday and was expected to be in the lineup when entries were announced today.
Bud Delp, trainer of Western Echo, said that Prado will ride the colt if he starts.
"He fits the horse real well and was on him Monday when he worked seven-eighths [in 1 minute, 28 3/5 seconds] at Laurel."
The Juvenile field is limited to 14 starters, but Delp said he doesn't anticipate any problems drawing into the lineup. "We should have enough points," Delp said. "We won a Grade III [the Laurel Futurity] and were third in a Grade II [the Sapling Stakes], but we don't know for sure until the field is announced today."
Western Echo's competition in the Futurity appears even better than it did two weeks ago at Laurel Park. In the Futurity, Western Echo easily defeated New Jersey-based colt Old Tascosa by five lengths. Old Tascosa captured the Grade II Cowdin Stakes at Aqueduct during the weekend.
Delp said he plans to ship Western Echo to Kentucky on Sunday night. During Breeders' Cup week, former jockey Gregg McCarron, who still gallops horses in the mornings, will handle the exercising duties and will breeze him in his final workout on Thursday.
McCarron will serve as a mounted commentator for the NBC broadcast of the Breeders' Cup and will be at Churchill Downs to prepare for the telecast.
Trainer Dick Small said that Concern, the other Maryland-based horse headed to the Breeders' Cup, came out of Sunday's seven-furlong drill at Pimlico in good shape. The colt breezed in 1:27 3/5. The horse is scheduled to run in the $3 million Classic.
NOTES: Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Tabasco Cat turned in a sharp workout at Churchill Downs yesterday in preparation for the Classic. With jockey Pat Day aboard, the colt worked six furlongs in 1:13, causing trainer D. Wayne Lukas to term the drill "just perfect."
In addition to Tabasco Cat, Lukas has a four-horse entry in the Juvenile Fillies, headed by Flanders, and also will start Timber Country in the Juvenile Colts and has two candidates, Harlan and Chimes Band, for the Sprint.