01/11/2012 4:45PM

Gulfstream: Romans loses O'Prado Again, but still has other quality 3-year-olds

Barbara D. Livingston
O'Prado Again winner of the Grade 2 Remsen, is off the Triple Crown trail with a cracked shin bone.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Dale Romans is rich with potential Kentucky Derby prospects this winter although he lost one of the best of the group, O’Prado Again, after the Remsen winner sustained a cracked shin in his right front leg during a routine workout here at Gulfstream Park last Saturday.

“He’s not bad, he’ll be back. The injury isn’t career threatening,” Romans said on Wednesday.

Romans said O’Prado Again, a son of El Prado owned by Donegal Racing, was scheduled to be sent to Ocala, where surgery will be performed to have a screw inserted in the injured shin.

O’Prado Again captured his last two starts at 2, winning his maiden over the Polytrack at Keeneland in a race switched from the turf on Oct. 28 before returning four weeks later to upset the Grade 2 Remsen by three parts of a length over Souper Speedy.

“It’s always a disappointment anytime you lose a Derby prospect,” said Romans. “That’s why you can never have enough of them.”
Romans arsenal of top 3-year-olds also includes Dullahan, Cozzetti, and King Kid.

Dullahan won the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity over Keeneland’s Polytrack before closing out his campaign by finishing fourth, six lengths behind Hansen, in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.  Romans said Dullahan, who was also graded stakes-placed on the turf last summer at Saratoga, will likely make his 3-year-old debut on grass in the Palm Beach Stakes on March 11.

“Right now we’re thinking about two starts for Dullahan before the Derby, the Palm Beach and the Blue Grass. Just like we did with Paddy O’Prado,” said Romans. “I want to start him back at a mile and one-eighth. We already know he likes the turf and the surface at Keeneland and he’s also proved he could handle the main track at Churchill Downs with his race in the Breeders’ Cup.”   

Cozzetti is back at Gulfstream Park after closing out his 2-year-old campaign by finishing eighth in Hollywood Park’s CashCall Futurity.
“I thought he’d win that race in California,” said Romans. “Maybe he just chased that fast pace a little too close. He’s back here, training well and I’m looking at the Kitten’s Joy for his next start.”

The Kitten’s Joy, scheduled to be run at 1 1/16 miles on the turf on Jan. 21, closed with 28 nominations.
King Kid is coming off a third-place finish making his stakes debut in the Gulfstream Park Derby on New Year’s Day.

“I thought it was a good effort for just the second start of his life and I think he’ll improve off that race,” said Romans. “He might come back in the Withers. It depends on how he trains over the next couple of weeks.”

The Grade 3 Withers will be run on Feb. 4 at Aqueduct.