Dutrow says Prado tried to box in Big Brown at Preakness

Updated: May 21, 2008, 5:31 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Outspoken Big Brown trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. had some harsh words for jockey Edgar Prado, who often rides for him but was aboard a competitor during the Preakness.

Asked on Wednesday to elaborate on comments made after Big Brown's win Saturday, Dutrow suggested that Prado, on long shot Riley Tucker, needlessly tried to block Big Brown, who heads into the Belmont Stakes with a shot at the Triple Crown. Prado said he did nothing inappropriate.

"It looked like he was just trying to keep our horse in the box," Dutrow said. "It didn't look like he was out to get the best finish out of his horse."

During the first turn, Big Brown was on the rail with Riley Tucker outside of him. Riley Tucker briefly angled toward Big Brown, but it appeared that was the result of being bumped by Hey Byrn.

"I got paid to win the race, not to pay favors," Prado said in a phone interview between races at Belmont Park.

Prado, a Hall of Fame jockey, was set to ride Big Brown in the horse's career debut in September but was injured two races beforehand. Big Brown's owners later chose Kent Desormeaux over Prado for his 3-year-old season.

"Edgar being with us so much, it looks like he did something just to keep our horse in behind the other horse," Dutrow said. "He had to go way out of his way to do it. So we're not real happy about that, either."

Big Brown eventually passed Riley Tucker, who wound up finishing last.

Prado might ride the horse considered Big Brown's greatest challenge in the Belmont on June 7, Casino Drive. Casino Drive's jockey has yet to be named.

Big Brown, who won the Kentucky Derby by 4 3/4 lengths before capturing the Preakness by 5 1/4 lengths, went for his first jog at Belmont Park early Wednesday morning. He did a lap around the main track.

"I wish it was now because our horse is good," Dutrow said of the Belmont Stakes, still 2½ weeks away. "I'm expecting things to just get better from here with the horse. The more he comes out of his race, the longer he is away from his race, the better he's going to be. Time is on our side right now, because our horse is good."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press