08/14/2010 2:54PM

Kentuckians get in works before Chicago trip


LOUISVILLE, Ky. –Paddy O’Prado and General Quarters were among the Kentucky-based horses putting in their final prerace workouts for the International Festival of Racing when they breezed Saturday morning over a fast main track at Churchill Downs.

With trainer Dale Romans in from Saratoga to watch, Paddy O’Prado went five furlongs in 1:01.40 with Tammy Fox aboard. “I loved how he went,” said Romans. “We’re right where we want to be.”

Paddy O’Prado will be a solid favorite Saturday at Arlington Park in the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes, one of three Grade 1 turf races on a card led by the 28th Arlington Million. Romans, who flew in Friday night from Saratoga to be on hand, also sent out his other top 3-year-old, First Dude, for a five-furlong breeze, which also happened to come in 1:01.40 with Fox up.

“They’re both shipping out in a few days,” said Romans. “Paddy O’Prado will van to Chicago either Wednesday or Thursday, and I’ll be sending First Dude up to Saratoga so he can get in a little training there.”

Paddy O’Prado, third in the Kentucky Derby, comes off impressive back-to-back victories in the Colonial Cup and Virginia Derby. Romans said he planned to travel Thursday night from Saratoga to Chicago.

General Quarters, who is considered iffy for the Million by owner-trainer Tom McCarthy, went five furlongs in a minute flat, earning a “bullet” from 19 workers at the distance. McCarthy said he would “very much prefer something less than firm” course conditions for General Quarters and will bypass the race in favor of the Sept. 4 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga if it looks like the Arlington course will be too firm for his liking Saturday.

Also Saturday morning, Hot Cha Cha went five furlongs over the Polytrack surface at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., earning a bullet by going in a minute flat. Hot Cha Cha, trained by Phil Sims, is one of the top contenders for the third Festival race, the $750,000 Beverly D.

Other Kentucky horses going to the Festival are Rahystrada (Million), Acoma (Beverly D.), and Dean’s Kitten (Secretariat).