First Dude and Paddy O'Prado, two Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) contenders trained by Dale Romans, made impressive appearances on the track at Churchill Downs Oct. 30 as they went through their final paces for the Nov. 6 race at Churchill.
First Dude breezed five furlongs in 1:01 1/5, ninth-fastest of 41 horses working that distance. Splits were :11 4/5, :24, :36 1/5, :48 3/5, and the son of Stephen Got Even galloped out six furlongs in 1:15 and seven furlongs in 1:29 1/5.
Paddy O’Prado breezed five furlongs in 1:01, eighth best time of the day, with fractional splits of :12 2/5, :24 2/5, :36 3/5, and :49. A son of El Prado, Paddy O’Prado galloped out six furlongs in 1:14 and seven furlongs in 1:28 2/5.
"Both worked just like we wanted," Romans said of the two 3-year-olds. "They both galloped out strong and kept galloping out."
A homebred racing for Donald Dizney, First Dude is winless since breaking his maiden at Gulfstream Park but has finished second or third nine times in 10 additional starts. Third in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and Shadwell Travers Stakes (gr. I), First Dude most recently finished third in the Sept. 26 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II).
Romans said he isn't concerned about the amount of time between races for First Dude.
"He has had a long hard campaign and has never missed a beat," Romans said. "He hasn’t missed a work since the Pennsylvania Derby, and everything has gone great. He showed me a lot in the last eighth of a mile in the Pennsylvania Derby. It is something we were looking for from him. It was a good turn of foot and real desire to win. It’s probably the first time he has really shown that."
Owned by Donegal Racing, Paddy O’Prado was cross-entered in the Emirates Airlines Turf (gr. IT). He comes into the Breeders’ Cup off a second-place finish in the Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT).
"All the big work is done; now we just take it easy," Romans said. "No more stress. As long as everything is good (Oct. 31), then we just coast from here."