The Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) keeps getting more interesting by the day.
One day after the connections of champion Gio Ponti said he would be cross-entered in the Classic and the Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT), trainer Dale Romans said 3-year-old standout Paddy O'Prado would point for the Nov. 6 Classic at Churchill Downs. The son of El Prado finished third in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) in May on the same track, but has since become a star on turf, winning three graded stakes including the Secretariat (gr. IT) at Arlington Park.
Romans said he and owner Jerry Crawford mulled the option of running Paddy O’Prado in the Classic or the Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) for a while before making their decision Oct. 21.
“He ran well in the Derby on the same racetrack. It’s worth taking a shot,” Romans said. “With the stallion potential of this horse, we’d like to see him do something big on dirt.
“We felt that he fit in well with the horses (in the BC Turf). It was going to be a tough race, but both of them are. It’s a tough spot either way, but he’s doing great. We’re confident that he will run his race.”
Paddy O’Prado has produced a 4-2-2 from nine starts this season. All of his wins came on turf, including the Palm Beach (gr. IIIT), Colonial Turf Cup (gr. IIT), and Virginia Derby (gr. IIT). Last out he was runner-up by a length in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) on Oct. 2 at Belmont in his first start against older horses.
Romans is also expected to enter another 3-year-old in the Classic, multiple grade I-placed First Dude.