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 yesterday to elaborate on comments made after Big Brown's win Saturday, Dutrow suggested that Prado, on longshot Riley Tucker, needlessly tried to block Big Brown, who heads into the Belmont Stakes with a shot at the Triple Crown.

"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.

Prado said he did nothing inappropriate. "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.

Prado might ride the horse considered Big Brown's greatest challenge in the Belmont on June 7, Casino Drive.


* Melquan Bolding, a 6-4 shooting guard who had been expected to accompany his prep school teammate to Louisville, signed a letter of intent with Duquesne. Bolding averaged 18 points and seven rebounds last season at Notre Dame Prep, in Fitchburg, Mass.

* Former Oklahoma backup quarterback Keith Nichol said he is transferring to Michigan State.

* Louisville coach Rick Pitino said center Derrick Caracter has been declared academically ineligible.

Philly File

* Ray Didinger, senior producer with NFL Films and a former Daily News sports columnist, will be the graduation speaker today at Temple's School of Communications and Theater. He will address the 997 members of the Class of 2008 in the Student Pavilion.

* Former Freire Charter guard Dwayne Johnson, most recently of Hancock Junior College in California, has committed to play basketball at Rocky Mountain College, an NAIA school in Billings, Mont.

* Kixx players Pat Morris, Sandre Naumoski and Ptah Myers have been selected to play for the U.S. Futsal National Team in the CONCACAF Futsal Championship, June 3-8, in Guatemala City.

Sport Stops

* Admitted steroids dealer Angel Heredia testified in San Francisco that he set up Marion Jones with a three-drug cocktail of banned substances to boost her bid to win five medals at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. Heredia, testifying at the trial of track coach Trevor Graham, said he also sold banned drugs to Olympic gold medal sprinters Antonio Pettigrew, Jerome Young, Tim Montgomery and Dennis Mitchell.

* Hamilton Jordan, a political strategist behind Jimmy Carter's 1976 run to the White House who later was instrumental in the formation of the men's pro tennis circuit, died Tuesday at his Atlanta home. He was 63. *