Paddy O'Prado Tops Colonial Turf Cup Field
Paddy O'Prado , third-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), drew the rail as the probable favorite for the $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup (gr. IIT) June 19 at Colonial Downs. A field of seven 3-year-olds was drawn.
Trained by Dale Romans for Donegal Racing, Paddy O’Prado broke his maiden in the Palm Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park before finishing second in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) previous to the Derby. The son of El Prado comes into the 1 3/16-mile Colonial Turf Cup off a sixth-place effort in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). He has three works since then, two of them on the turf at Churchill Downs.
Four of Paddy O'Prado's eight career starts have come on turf. The Palm Beach is his lone win. The gray/roan colt, who was bred in Kentucky by Winchell Thoroughbreds and is out of the Prized mare Fun Hose, has career earnings of $464,497. He will be ridden by Kent Desormeaux from post 1 while carrying 121 pounds.
Dean's Kitten, 14th in the Derby in his most recent start, is also likley to garner some support. Winner of the Lane’s End Stakes (gr. II) March 27 for his lone win of the season, he is trained by Mike Maker for Ken and Sarah Ramsey. The son of Kitten's Joy , who has won two of eight starts on the grass and was runner-up in the Palm Beach, will have the services of jockey Alan Garcia.
Another graded stakes winner in the field is WinStar Farm’s Doubles Partner, trained by Todd Pletcher and also carrying top weight of 121 pounds. The Rock Hard Ten colt has finished in the money in four of seven starts and is coming off a victory in the April 30 American Turf (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs. Doubles Partner, who will be ridden by Garret Gomez, has never lost in three starts on the turf.
Another confirmed turfer is Workin for Hops, winner of the $100,000 Arlington Classic in his most recent start. In four tries on the turf, Workin For Hops has lost only once and has earnings of $142,976. E. T. Baird has the mount for trainer Michael Stidham.
The Colonial Turf Cup is the local prep for the $600,000 Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) to be run July 17.
Also on the card is the $150,000 All Along Stakes (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares going nine furlongs on the turf. Carrying top weight in the field of eight will be Dynaslew and Casablanca Smile, each toting 124 pounds.
Live Oak Plantation's Dynaslew is undefeated in two starts this season, including a decisive 3 1/4-length score last out in the May 1 Beaugay (gr. IIIT) at Belmont in her graded stakes debut. The Seth Benzel trainee has posted a 4-3-0 record from 10 starts, all on turf, with earnings of $191,252. Garcia has the call.
Green Hills Farm's Casablanca Smile is a two-time group I winner in her native Chile and makes her North American debut while in the barn of Shug McGaughey. The 4-year-old daughter of Ocean Terrace, who will receive lasix for the first time, romped by six lengths in her 2010 debut Jan 31 in the El Derby (Chi-I). She has been working steadily at Belmont since being shipped to the United States. Desormeaux will ride.
Also in the mix is five-time stakes winner Tizaqueena. The 5-year-old mare enters off a front-running victory in the Arlington Matron Handicap (gr. III) on Polytrack May 29 and has won three of four starts this season. The Darley runner won the grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile in 2009.
$150,000, All Along Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 9, 4:39 p.m., Fillies 3YO and Up, 1 1/8 miles turf)
$500,000, Colonial Turf Cup (gr. IIT, Race 10, 5:19 p.m., 3YO, 1 3/16 miles turf)
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