Donegal Racing’s Paddy O'Prado, a maiden facing eight winners in the $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO), seemed unfazed by his competition as he rolled to a 2 1/2-length score March 6 on the Gulfstream Park turf.
Trained by Dale Romans, Paddy O’Prado was making the second start of his 3-year-old campaign, having missed by just over two lengths while finishing third in a maiden special weight contest at Gulfstream in February. As a juvenile, the son of El Prado—Fun House, by Prized, finished third to Interactif in the With Anticipation Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Saratoga.
With speed holding well on the Gulfstream turf all day, Jesus Castanon sent Paddy O’Prado sharply from post one in the nine-furlong Palm Beach and they tracked pacesetter Asphalt through honest fractions of:23.11, :46.25, and 1:10.10. The gray/roan colt moved past Asphalt leaving the far turn and opened up a three-length lead at the eighth-pole. He kept his advantage throughout the final furlong and hit the wire in a final time of 1:45.40 on the firm course.
Dean's Kitten was runner-up under Cormelio Velasquez, two lengths better than third-place finisher Our Champion. Bim Bam, the 9-5 favorite who won the Hallandale Beach Stakes in February, finished fifth.
“I’ve always thought a lot of him,” Romans said. “He has never had a clean trip in any of his races, but once he has gotten clear, he’s always come running at the end. He has run against some nice horses. I didn’t have any problem running him in here as a maiden. I think he’s as talented as any 3-year-old I’ve got in the barn, so why not run him in a grade 3 for $150,000 rather than a maiden race worth $50,000?
“We’re seriously thinking about running him on the Polytrack at Keeneland, maybe even the Blue Grass (gr. I, April 10).”
Paddy O’Prado, bred in Kentucky by Winchell Thoroughbreds, upped his record to 1-1-2 from five starts and earnings of $114,497. He was a $105,000 Keeneland September 2008 yearling sale purchase.
Bet down from a 15-1 morning line, the winner paid $17.20, $8.40, and $4.40. The exacta (1-2) returned $84 and the trifecta (1-2-3) was $437.70.
Earlier in the day in the Palm Beach’s sister race, the $150,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) for 3-year-old fillies at nine furlongs on the turf, Khancord Kid took her challengers wire-to-wire under Rajiv Maragh to win by a half-length in her graded-stakes debut.
Bred and owned by Mary and Chester Broman, and trained by John Kimmel, the daughter of Lemon Drop Kid broke from post eight and went right to the front. She was pressed much of the way by Dynazaper while posting fractions of :23.96, :48.58, and 1:12.17. The chestnut filly took a 1 1/2-length lead at the eighth-pole, found more in the stretch, and held off a late charge from Apple Charlotte to score for the third time in six starts.
Khancorde Kid stopped the clock in 1:47.14, with Apple Charlotte and Jeremy Rose edging out Upperline for the runner-up spot.
Fourth in the Coconut Grove Feb. 14 at Gulfstream, Khancorde Kid bagged an allowance win on the same course one month earlier in her season debut. Out of the Storm Cat mare Confidently, the New York-bred has now earned $$146,813.
“She’s from a very good family and Mr. Broman owns the mare,” Kimmel said. “So winning a grade 3 certainly helps (her value). She has run three times down here, so she’ll get a little break before we decide where she goes next. Her one race on dirt was on an off track, but she has trained so well on dirt that I think at some point down the road we’ll give her another chance.”
Khancorde Kid paid $18.20, $8, and $5.20. The exacta (8-7) returned $156.80 and the trifecta (8-7-6) was $333.10 for $1.
Check the Label was fourth, followed by Musical Romance and Dynazaper who dead-heated for fifth, In the Rough, Splendid Sound, and Profiteroles.