October 22, 2010

Say It Ain’t So Paddy O

Paddy O’ Prado to the Classic? Big mistake I say.

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.

Really?

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.

Paddy O’ Prado to the Classic? Big mistake I say.

23 comments:

Stacy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stacy said...

Sorry I could not edit one key word so reposting.

My take is they own the horse and they feel the risk of being an also ran in the classic as a three year old sets them up to be a superior grass horse as a four year old. How else are they going to maximize his stud potential?

If he loses the dirt races this year and rebounds on the turf next year he has established himself as a super grass horse.

Off my opinion box now.

October 22, 2010 12:22 PM

danmunn said...

Bad move and one which will be equally bad for Gio Ponti. very good article Bri

Brian Zipse said...

Stacy, you are assuming that he will race next year. Let's hope that you are correct, and even so, putting him a race primed for failure is a mistake no matter what happens in the future.

Silent Sunday said...

I wouldn't worry about looking silly either Brian...My key thought was, like you said...yes he ran ok on the dirt at CD in the Derby, but against lesser competition than he will face in the Classic. Lucky's race was over at the break and besides him, the competition in there by no means compares to Z, Blame..etc. Bad choice in my opinion too. I will ask though....i heard they were going to cross enter at least..is that true?

Mandy said...

Love your opinions, Brian. I still don't know what to make of their decision with him. But if their decision is purely based on boosting his stud fee's...well what does that say for the racing part? I always thought you put the horse where he or she has the best chance to win. But that's just my opinion.

Brian Zipse said...

Cross entered, probably, but it seems the decision is a pretty firm one as of now.

Could not have said it any better Mandy, I am all for rolling the dice once in a while, but I liken this decision to the Chicago Blackhawks playing in the Super Bowl because it is more prestigious than the Stanley Cup.

SaratogaSpa said...

Let's look at it for what it is, they are taking their shot at it , and remember 2 or 3 place purse money in a 5 million dollar race ain't too shabby, especially in this economy.

Remember this is where they play..for...pay.

LetItRideMike said...

Dale Romans has been around CD a long time, and he must feel POP wasnt likely to win the Turf, and the distance is more to his horses liking as well as the 15% or so chance that the track will come up a quagmire. Brian, remember to factor that POP had never been a mile and a quarter before that race in May, and many felt he should have been second. 2 inches of rain and several races at the distance under his belt will give POP every right to significantly improve over his Derby time, imo.

william said...

i agree brian....i didnt believe then or now that paddy is a good dirt horse..since the switch to turf he has been great, bad decisions are made all the time and for whatever the reasoning this is a bad decision

ja.raymond said...

Greed & ego prevail, yet again :(
And what makes me mad is that it's gonna mess Paddy's head up some. He's going to go out there, try to run like he always does, wont be able to get ahold of the track or just plain be uncomfortable on that surface, he's going to lose and he wont understand why!
Poor Paddy! :(

Anonymous said...

Exacly Right Brian! He does not belong in the Classic, he is a champion turf horse and winning the turf will let him be remembered for who he really was. No chance in the classic.

Anonymous said...

Exacly Right Brian! He does not belong in the Classic, he is a champion turf horse and winning the turf will let him be remembered for who he really was. No chance in the classic.

Anonymous said...

Well....I said those guys were crazy when they ran Paddy in a Grade III at Gulfstream as a Maiden...and he won for fun and was instantly on the Derby trail.

I have lost a lot of money betting against Romans and Crawford.

I have no idea what will happen but I will NOT leave Paddy off my ticket.

Good post though Brian.

LetItRideMike said...

Romans made another comment today that I liked "this is our home track, these horses work and train over themain track here all the time and like it." Also, remember he now has First Dude in there to oush a hot pace.

Anonymous said...

Brian,

I saw Paddy breeze this a.m. over the fast dirt at CD and he is a monster! I can't imagine him not running a big race. These guys obviously know what they are doing!

Brian Zipse said...

We shall see. My guess a huge race in the Classic gets him 5th place. I really think he could have won the turf.

slickeeboy said...

I'm not sure what to think of this move. He could potentially be the champion turf male by placing in the Turf, but would have to win the Classic to even have a shot at champion three-year-old male. Lookin At Lucky pretty much has that title sown up at this point. Gio Ponti is probably the only competition in the turf male category for him at this point if he runs well in the Turf.

Cape Blanco would be the turf horse I would most like to see in the Classic. If he takes to the dirt and could replicate the style he used in the Irish Champion he might be very tough to beat. He has tactical speed and the ability to stay up to 1 1/2 miles.

LetItRideMike said...

Slickeeboy, if POP runs 3rd, and beats LaL by ten lengths, he will have dusted him both times they met ON DIRT in addition to having such turf success he was considered one of the favorites for the BC Turf. How could anyone make a case for Looking At Lucky in that scenario?

slickeeboy said...

Lookin At Lucky actually winning the Preakness and Haskell trumps that scenario. Most people threw out Lucky's Derby. The scenario you're proposing is similar to Gio Ponti last year. The only difference is that Gio Ponti won because no one else had stepped up during the season. In the three-year-old male category though you have to do something extraordinary to trump the spring classics.

Now, if Paddy loses a stretch duel with one of the top contenders (Zenyatta, Blame, Quality Road...) and dusts Lucky, then you may have an argument. If he runs an even race to finish a distant 2nd and Lucky has trouble again I still think Lucky will win out in the Championship battle.

LetItRideMike said...

Winning a big race at Pimlico and Monmouth should get LOL a championship? So you CAN be a champion without winning in NY? Who knew?

slickeeboy said...

Oh no... Do I hear a Zenyatta debate looming?

slickeeboy said...

Thought about the "can be a champion without winning in New York" comment. Just off the top of my head you have Sunday Silence, Hansel, Silver Charm, Real Quiet, Charismatic, Tiznow, War Emblem, Afleet Alex, and Big Brown. Well, all of them except for Tiznow won in Maryland. War Emblem and Big Brown also took the Haskell. So, I guess Lucky is in some pretty good company.