04/27/2011 2:07PM

Pimlico's Dixie Stakes now the spot for Paddy O'Prado's 2011 debut

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Paddy O’Prado, one of the top turf horses in North America in 2010, will make his 4-year-old debut in the Grade 2, $200,000 Dixie Stakes on the May 21 Preakness undercard at Pimlico, trainer Dale Romans said Wednesday at Churchill Downs.

Romans said he had hoped to make the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on the May 7 Kentucky Derby undercard at Churchill with Paddy O’Prado, “but I just didn’t feel right about it, him coming off such a long layoff to run in a race like that. We’ll work him another couple of times and just point for Pimlico.”

Paddy O’Prado surely would have been one of the favorites for the $500,000 Woodford, which, like the Dixie, is run at 1 1/8 miles on turf. All four career wins from 13 overall starts have come on turf for Paddy O’Prado, who has earned more than $1.6 million for Donegal Racing. The colt was fifth in the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Classic in his last start.