BALTIMORE - Veterinarian Dean Richardson and jockey Edgar Prado, two key figures in the Barbaro saga, were honored with a Special Award of Merit yesterday at Pimlico. The award, given annually during Preakness week, is presented to someone who has made a positive impact on the racing industry.

Richardson, the chief surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center, led the effort to save Barbaro following the horse's breakdown in last year's Preakness.

Richardson saluted Prado for quickly bringing Barbaro to a halt when the colt shattered three bones in his right hind leg seconds after the race started.

"I wouldn't be here at all if Edgar, or somebody of his equal level of skill, wasn't riding the horse," Richardson said.