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O'Prado Again comes running to win the Remsen at Aqueduct.
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O'Prado Again Grinds Out Remsen Victory

Donegal Racing's juvenile wins stakes debut for trainer Dale Romans at Aqueduct.

Stalking O'Prado Again rallied gamely in the final furlong to defeat pacesetter Souper Speedy  by three-quarters of a length in the $200,000 Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct Nov. 26 (VIDEO).

Ridden in his stakes debut by Kent Desormeaux for Donegal Racing and trainer Dale Romans, 7-1 shot O'Prado Again completed the 1 1/8-mile test for 2-year-olds in a moderate 1:52.07 on a fast track. A gray/roan son of El Prado out of the Pulpit mare Leh She Run, the $350,000 Keeneland yearling was bred in Kentucky by Highclere.

In a wide open renewal of the Remsen, the Todd Pletcher-trained El Padrino , a 12 3/4-length maiden winner at Belmont Park Oct. 29, was sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the field of 10.

El Padrino, breaking from the rail, settled into third on the inside as Souper Speedy, ridden by Jose Lezcano, wrested the early lead from Our Entourage and led that one narrowly through deliberate fractions of :24.38, :49.97, and 1:15.05. Souper Speedy finally disposed of Our Entourage approaching mid-stretch and dug in for the drive.

O'Prado Again, after bumping with Managed Account at the start, ranged into contention on the backstretch while a bit wide on both turns for Desormeaux. He was posed on the outside of the leaders in the stretch and responded when called upon leaving the eighth pole, edging clear in the final strides.

“He’s a horse you can move into a spot and sit again, which is characteristic of a serious horse," Desormeaux said. "He’s got gears. He’s silky smooth, like (Fusaichi Pegasus ) was. You can’t tell his feet hit the ground. He’s really, really smooth.”

Souper Speedy held off El Padrino, ridden by John Velazquez, by a head for second, with Done Talking another head behind in fourth. Then came Our Entourage, Managed Account, Stephanoatsee , Speightscity, Mucho Mas Macho, and Scatter a Star.

O'Prado Again was coming off a maiden victory on Keeneland's Polytrack in an off-the-turf heat at 1 1/8 miles Oct. 28. He had raced three times previously against maidens, two of them on grass. He improved his career mark to 2-0-1 in five starts with earnings of $156,290.

"The further he goes, the better he gets," Romans said. "We pointed to the Remsen not so much because of how he ran in his last race, but because of the way he trained into the last race and way he trained after it. The light really came on for him. He was training so well that we thought he would run a big race, so we decided to run in the Remsen. Kent rode him with a lot of confidence."

Romans said O'Prado Again would go to Florida and would probably return next year.

"There is a slim chance he could run at Hollywood (grade I CashCall Futurity Dec. 17), but we will probably wait until next year," he said. "We think he is a Kentucky Derby horse so we will treat him like that.”

The fifth choice, O'Prado Again paid $16.80, $7.20, and $5.10, and keyed a $220 exacta. Live Oak Plantation's homebred Souper Steady, a first-out maiden winner at Belmont Oct. 1 for Tom Albertrani, returned $9.50 and $5.80. El Padrino paid $3.30.