OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The Aqueduct stewards suspended jockey Fernando Jara seven days for an incident that occurred in the stretch of last Saturday's Grade 3 Comely Stakes. But the trainer of the horse who suffered the greatest impact in the incident is mad at his own rider for putting his filly in a precarious situation.
Tony Dutrow, the trainer of She'll Be Doggone - the 4-5 Comely favorite who was forced to check out of the race at the three-sixteenths pole - said he believes his rider, Edgar Prado, acted carelessly in the way he rode his filly in the race. Prado was attempting to rally up the rail on She'll Be Doggone when Anchorage, under Jara, came back over to the rail, forcing Prado to snatch up his filly. Prado then galloped She'll Be Doggone to the wire, finishing in front of just one horse. She'll Be Doggone appeared to escape serious injury.
"How Edgar Prado could put a horse in that type of dangerous situation outrages me to no end,'' said Dutrow, who trains She'll Be Doggone for Morris Bailey. "I am mad at Edgar Prado for the danger he put our horse in. A professional of his caliber, there is no excuse for that.''
Dutrow went on to say that he would not use Prado again on his horses. According to Daily Racing Form statistics, Dutrow and Prado have teamed to win 42 races from 144 starters, including five stakes.
Dutrow said that when an owner entrusts a horse to him, that client expects him to take care of his horse in a safe manner. Dutrow said that is the same expectation he has when he gives a jockey a call to ride his horse.
"I didn't get that [Saturday] from Edgar Prado,'' he said.
Prado, a member of the Hall of Fame who ranks 14th all-time in races won (6,335) and seventh all-time in purse money won ($226,235,121), said there was room for She'll Be Doggone in upper stretch to go through along the rail, but the hole closed quickly when Anchorage, who had drifted slightly off the rail, moved back toward the fence in a split second.
"There was a hole there," Prado said. "The stewards gave Jara days so the stewards saw there was a hole there. I don't blame Jara for that; that stuff happens.''
Prado, who was lauded nationally for the way he quickly pulled up Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro at the start of the 2006 Preakness, said he would never put one of his horses or himself in jeopardy.
"I'm a horse lover," he said. "I care about horses. I've taken care of horses all my life. At this point in my career, I don't care about horses anymore? I'm sorry [Dutrow] feels that way. I protect horses a lot. I pull up horses when they need to be pulled up.''
Prado said he attempted to call Dutrow on Sunday, but Dutrow did not answer his phone or return a message.
As for She'll Be Doggone, Dutrow said Monday he did not yet know whether the 3-year-old filly had sustained any injuries. Dutrow said She'll Be Doggone could bear weight on all four limbs, but needed to be treated "to make her comfortable.'' Dutrow said he would have a bone-scan performed by the end of the week.
"From what I saw any part of her could have trouble," he said. "That's what I'm afraid of."
Meanwhile, Jara did not appeal his careless-riding suspension, which in turn was reduced to three days. Jara will not ride Wednesday through Friday.