I've been going to the races and following the horses since before I can honestly remember. For example, my best recollection of being in the stands for Secretariat's amazing run in the Belmont was not the race, but the stands shaking so much beneath my feet. Quite an experience for a little guy who just turned 4! Two of my favorite fellow handicappers are my brother and my father. My one year old daughter is already showing signs of loving the horses :>) My favorites...how about Wajima, Spectacular Bid, Fancy Naskra, Five Star Flight, Christmas Past, Princess Rooney, Lady's Secret, With Approval, Paradise Creek, Sunday Silence, Unbridled, Skip Away, Free House. Musket Man and Rachel Alexandra, just to name a few.
Jerry Crawford is the manager of the Donegal Racing Partnership, the group that owns Paddy O’Prado. Yesterday Crawford announced the syndicate had decided at a recent meeting to run their colt in the Breeders’ Cup Classic rather than the Breeders‘ Cup Turf. Apparently this was a decision made after Crawford mulled over the options with trainer Dale Romans.
Paddy O‘Prado is one of the most exciting young turf horses American racing has seen in years. He has four impressive graded stakes wins on the grass in his last five tries. He is coming off a loss, but one in which he ran a big race when second in his first attempt on an off course, at 12 furlongs, and against older horses. It seemed to be the perfect prep for the biggest race on turf this nation offers.
Paddy O’Prado is a turf horse.
On dirt, Paddy O’Prado is a maiden. 7th, 3rd, and 6th. Three races on dirt and those are the results. In fairness, the third place finish was in the Kentucky Derby on the same track and the same distance as the Classic. That doesn’t mean much though, for this year’s Derby was simply not a good race. The track was sloppy and most of the best dirt horses did not run their race for various reasons. I ask you, what kind of shot would second place finisher, Ice Box, have in the Classic?
Paddy O’Prado is not a dirt horse.
Here is what trainer Romans had to say: “He ran well in the Derby on the same racetrack. It’s worth taking a shot. With the stallion potential of this horse, we’d like to see him do something big on dirt.”
Sounds like this decision was made to boost his value as a stallion. I wonder what finishing 8th in the Classic will do for his stud value. In the Turf, he had a real shot. Paddy is that good on grass. In the Classic, he has no shot. I realize that if he runs big in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, I will look foolish as the author of this column … I am not worried.