Donegal Racing’s Paddy O'Prado, third in this year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), has once again shown his top grass form, running again on the turf with a vengeance, taking the $600,000 Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) over firm turf at Colonial Downs July 17 (VIDEO).
Trained by Dale Romans, Paddy O’Prado was unhurried early under regular rider Kent Desormeaux, racing sixth in the seven-horse field for the first mile of the 10-furlong Virginia Derby. He trailed the pacesetter, Two Notch Road, by 11 lengths approaching the second turn. With a quarter mile to run, he still had seven lengths to make up.
But the son of El Prado was up to the task. Rallying inside on the turn, Desormeaux then split horses entering the stretch and angled back to the inside. Paddy O’Prado quickly moved to the front, and held runner-up Interactif, also rallying from behind, by 1 1/2 lengths. Paddy O’Prado completed the event in 2:02.58, and paid $3.20 as the favorite.
Winchell Thoroughbreds bred the winner in Kentucky out of the Prized mare Fun House. Paddy O’Prado picked up $352,800 for the victory.