06/03/2011 12:28AM

Enjoy your retirement, Paddy O'Prado!


Paddy O'Prado:  2007 gr./ro. c. by El Prado (Ire) - Fun House, by Prized

Trainer:  Dale Romans.  Owner:  Donegal Racing.  Breeder:  Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC (Ky).  Race record:  14-5-3-3, $1,721,297.  Stakes wins:  Secretariat (G1), Dixie (G2), Virginia Derby (G2), Colonial Turf Cup (G2), Palm Beach (G3).

If ever a horse begged for retirement, it was Paddy O’Prado.

Don’t get me wrong. Paddy was in prime racing condition - a powerhouse Grade I winner, a fierce competitor, and so beautiful he could be cast in movies. I, like most fans, was very saddened by the colt's premature retirement.  But…. dang! Not since Rubiano have I followed a horse who was so, um….ready for action.

In the barn area, the paddock or walking to and from the track, the dappled Arabian-like beauty would raise his head high, toss his salt-and-pepper mane, and cast a ‘come hither' look toward ponies or fellow racehorses.  Paddy's eyes and ears would lock on his goal as he let out a heartfelt rumble or two…or more….  

You could sometimes hear him before he came into view, throaty noises indicating his approach. And when racing's good-natured ‘bad boy’ strutted into view - his tail a flag, his eyes brilliant, his manhood occasionally prompting a photographic R-rating - well, he just made people laugh. He was fun!

Enjoy your retirement, my magnificent grey friend. Something tells me you'll be ready for your test breeding.

Above:  Paddy O'Prado and Kent Desormeaux in a competitive moment - Dixie Handicap (G2) at Pimlico, 5-21-11.

Above: Paddy O'Prado as a maiden 2-year-old - before the With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga, 9-4-09.

Above and below:  Paddy O'Prado and Robby Albarado, With Anticipation Stakes, Saratoga 9-4-09. Below:  The first time past the wire.  Paddy finished third, behind Interactif and Jung Man Scott.

Above and below:  Paddy O'Prado with his attentive trainer Dale Romans, Pimlico 2011.

Above:  With Kent Desormeaux up in the 2010 Kentucky Derby post parade.  Paddy finished third.

Above:  At his Churchill Downs home base, with regular exercise rider Fastino Aguilar in the irons.

Above:  Cranky Paddy.  Below:  Happy Paddy.

Above:  Paddy O'Prado and Tammy Fox laying 'em down at Churchill Downs during Derby week 2010.

Above:  Supermodel Paddy O'Prado eyes something interesting at Gulfstream Park, February 2011.

Above:  Tammy Fox takes the Romans' barn's beloved Paddy O'Prado for a spin on a frosty Churchill Downs morning.

Above and below:  Paddy O'Prado's final victory, the Dixie (G2) at Pimlico on May 21, 2011 - with regular pilot Kent Desormeaux up.

Sláinte, Paddy O'Prado!  Enjoy your second career!

Video:  Paddy O'Prado winning the G2 Dixie on the Preakness undercard at Pimlico: www.youtube.com/watch