08/10/2010 1:32PM

Paddy O'Prado sticks with plan for Secretariat at Arlington Park

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Tom Keyser
Paddy O’Prado, winner of a pair of turf stakes at Colonial Downs this summer, will make his next start in the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – There already is a mare, the European horse Lady Digby, being aimed at the 2010 Arlington Million, even though there is a rich female-restricted grass race, the Beverly D., scheduled for the same day. The way Paddy O’Prado, a 3-year-old, has looked in his last two grass races, he also would not be out of his depth in the Aug. 21 Million, but his connections are sticking with the rich, restricted race scheduled for Million Day, the $400,000 Secretariat.

Paddy O’Prado, the top sophomore turf horse in the country at this moment, remained on course for a trip to Chicago with a solid five-furlong work in 1:02.20 on Saturday morning over the Churchill Downs main track. Paddy O’Prado may be lengths better on turf than dirt, but he does almost all his morning exercise on dirt while working solo.

“He went good,” trainer Dale Romans said of the Saturday breeze. “He’s going to work again on Saturday, and then he’ll ship up Wednesday or Thursday. He does fine on dirt. He’s very sound and he handles it well.”

Romans said Paddy O’Prado has shown no sign of decline, despite starting his season in February, racing in two-thirds of the Triple Crown, and turning in consecutive standout performances in turf stakes at Colonial Downs this summer.

“He’s always consistent and steady, from morning to morning, day to day, and race to race,” Romans said.

Romans will be seeking his second Secretariat, having won the 2004 edition with Kitten’s Joy, who outshone the Million horses that summer and went on to win an Eclipse Award as the nation’s best male grass horse that year.

Paddy O’Prado has “got a long ways to go to do some of the things Kitten’s Joy did, to step up and beat older horses, and stretch to one and one-half miles,” Romans said. “But right now, he’s got the potential to do it.”

Romacaca points to Beverly D.

Locally based Romacaca has been added to the list of intended starters in the Beverly D. Stakes, according to Steve Leving, racing manager for owner Frank Calabrese.

Romacaca was scratched from a Mountaineer Park turf stakes this past Saturday, when the decision to try the Million was reached.

“She loves Arlington, she’s here, and she’s training great,” Leving said.

Romacaca, a winner of two straight, has finished first in four of her five turf starts at Arlington, her lone loss a second to Beverly D.-bound Hot Cha Cha in the Pucker Up last summer.

With the shocking death of Tuscan Evening last weekend at Del Mar, favoritism in the Beverly D. now is up in the air. Possible runners are Acoma, Eclair de Lune, Hot Cha Cha, Phola, Rainbow View, Treat Gently, Turning Top, Biased, Pachattack, Gypsy’s Warning, Bikini Babe, and Ave.

Shadowbdancing appears fine

Trainer Terrel Gore is mystified by Shadowbdancing’s dismal showing Saturday in the $125,000 West Virginia Governor’s Cup. Shadowbdancing had won the race in 2009 and was the 6-5 favorite Saturday on the strength of his last-out win in the Grade 2 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap, but after chasing the pace down the backstretch, Shadowbancing stopped badly and was eased under the wire by jockey Eddie Razo, checking in last of seven.

“He did not hurt himself, he did not bleed, he did not do anything to himself,” Gore said. “What happened to him, I have no earthly idea. The jock just said he had no horse. All I know is he’s fine and sound and eating and happy. He’ll live to fight another day.”

◗ Arlington has added the $60,000 Hatoof Stakes for 3-year-old turf fillies to its Million Day program.