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American Classic Runner Paddy O'Prado Retired


Prominent American contender Paddy O'Prado (El Prado) was officially retired from racing on Tuesday morning after connections realized that the bruised foot he suffered during his seasonal debut at Pimlico on Preakness Day turned out to be a fractured sesamoid. His final effort was a winning one as he went on to win the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes when sent off as the odds-on favourite.

Owned by prominent Iowa racing impresario Jerry Crawford and his Donegal Racing outfit, Paddy O'Prado was amongst the standouts of last year's three-year-old crop. He ran third in the 2010 Kentucky Derby and demonstrated a significant amount of versatility during his racing career – winning or placing at Grade 1 level on dirt, turf and synthetic.

At the dawn of his four-year-old campaign, Paddy O'Prado was being pointed towards a grass campaign that could have seen him travelling around the world facing off against some of the best on the older handicap division. He had already shown the ability to punch above his weight against older colts and geldings in the world championship Breeders' Cup Classic where he finished a respectable fifth.

A winner of the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes, the Virginia Derby and the Grade 2 Colonial Turf Cup, many are expecting Paddy O'Prado to be a potentially breakout sire. Should his ability to run on many types of surfaces with plenty of success be carried forward into his children then he should install himself as a stallion of choice and could rival Candy Ride as a producer of progeny that leave options open for owners and trainers.

Paddy O'Prado's connections released a statement that indicated their faith in his potential as a stud but they were obviously deflated by being forced to retire such a talented horse. “He was as versatile as any horse I've ever trained, and competed at the highest levels on turf, dirt and Polytrack. It takes a special horse to win or place in Grade 1 races on all three surfaces.”

It was an up-and-down day for trainer Dale Romans at Pimlico on Saturday as he wound up winning the feature classic with Shackleford (Forestry).  

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