Riders began to express interest in the colt following his Peter Pan score, when it became obvious that Kent Desormeaux, regular rider for Big Brown, would stick with his Derby/Preakness winner in the Belmont. Prior to the Peter Pan, Casino Drive was ridden by Japanese jockey Yutaka Take in his maiden debut overseas. A son of Mineshaft out of the Deputy Minister mare Better Than Honour, he is a half-brother to Belmont Stakes winners Jazil and Rags to Riches.
Should Prado win this year’s edition of the Belmont, he will join Braulio Baeza, Pat Day, Laffitt Pincay Jr., Gary Stevens and James Stout as the only riders in history to have won three editions of the race. Earle Sande and Bill Shoemaker won five Belmont Stakes, while James McLaughlin and Eddie Arcaro were the only two jockeys to have won the Belmont six times.
Prado, 40, was awarded the Eclipse Award for outstanding jockey in 2006, the year he rode Barbaro to victory in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The winner of more than 6,000 races, he will be inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York, this August.
Steve Haskin contributed to this story.