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


Peg More than 1 year ago
I saw Paddy win the Virginia Derby and he came into the saddling paddock exactly as described, head high, squealing as if to say "Here I am, everyone!" I am saddened by his premature retirement, but I'm glad he will be okay.
Heather More than 1 year ago
LOVE these photos of Paddy. He's a very fun horse -- I've been lucky enough to meet him and I can definitely say he's a feisty Irishman! :) I hope we'll see some great offspring from this incredible boy.
hialeah More than 1 year ago
Hi Barbara, “tis a somewhat old post, but Paddy O 'Prado, I feel, will be well remembered.” At some point someone will note: that in a sport looking for exciting, successful figures, Paddy O ' Prado fit the bill. Being Grade–3 stakes placed, with a third in the With Anticipation at Saratoga at 2 yrs old, he blossomed at age 3. PoP won the G-1 Secretariat at AP, as well as, the G-2 Colonial Turf Cup and Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs. Add in the G-3 Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park (maiden win) with a 2nd in the G-1 Joe Hirsch Turf (Bel) and turf running figured to be this ones game (he still is an El Prado). But he also ran a credible 2nd in the Blue Grass on synthetics and was 3rd in the Kentucky Derby. He hit all the marks. So it with sadness that we see his only effort at 4 yrs old to be a win, on turf, in the G-2 Dixie H where he incurred an injury that forced his retirement. The final line of:14 starts, 5 wins, 3 2nd, 3 3rd for 1.7 million, sounds good to me. Thank you so much (as always). Really like all the new sideshows that keep popping up.
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Barbara Ahhhh, one of my favorite PGH. Your top selection is such a classic, regal pose and with the frame accent around Paddy O' Prado ...he is the definition of 'pretty as a picture.' I always enjoy stopping by to look :)
von nouwen More than 1 year ago
4th pic up, the wide black eye with flared nostrils. kinda points to distress (Houston we have a problem), and still he went on. We will miss you! doo doo do doo(heart-breaker:(
sherpa More than 1 year ago
Such a beautiful boy. His presence on the track will be sorely missed. I expected him to be the champion American turf horse this year. Enjoy your "retirement," Paddy O! These pictures of Paddy perfectly illustrate the designation gray/roan, as opposed to the colorations listed separately. In some, he looks perfectly gray; while in others, classic roan. It must be a function of the way his coat reflects variations of light...? I didn't have a chance to comment on your last 2 blogs, Barbara, but I enjoyed them immensely - several times ;-) I'm very much looking forward to your presentation of TC pictures, of which I'm sure you have a zillion.
Kristen More than 1 year ago
Beautiful photos of a beautiful boy! Thank you for sharing! He will be missed, but we all know how happy he's going to be in his new "career"....lol!!
Studmuffin More than 1 year ago
Paddy yes Muffy awaits you
Lin More than 1 year ago
Thank you so much for your tribute to Paddy O'Prado. I loved his sire and I loved Paddy, and was looking forward to his races this year. I'll miss him, but it does sound like he'll have no trouble adjusting to his new life. I hope it's a long and happy one.
Dorothy Ours More than 1 year ago
Will miss rooting for Paddy at the races. Thank you for the beautiful G-rated photos!