FORMER VA-DERBY WINNER PADDY O’PRADO RETIRED

Paddy O’Prado just past the finish line Saturday. (G. Petty/VTA)

On Saturday, former Virginia Derby winner and Grade 1 stakes winner Paddy O’Prado made a victorious return to the races when he won the $200,000 Dixie Stakes Gr.II on the Preakness undercard.

Today, the news is he suffered a sesamoid injury in the race and will be retired.

Stud plans have not been decided for the four-year-old El Prado (Ire) colt out of Grade 2 winner Fun House, by Prized.

Paddy O’Prado rallied to win the Dixie by 1 1/2 lengths at 3-to-5 odds in his first start since a fifth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Gr.I. The chart comment for the Dixie noted that he drifted in at the three-sixteenths pole, and he exhibited lameness in the test barn after the race.

“Today is bittersweet,” said trainer Dale Romans, who also captured the Preakness Stakes Gr.I about an hour after the Dixie with Shackleford. “Paddy returned to training like a big gray monster, and we thought we were sitting on the Horse of the Year but now he will be able to go on and be a champion sire.”

(G. Petty/VTA)

Last year, Paddy O’Prado registered victories in the Secretariat Stakes Gr.I, Virginia Derby Gr.II, Colonial Turf Cup Stakes Gr.II, and Palm Beach Stakes gr.III and finished second in two Grade 1 races and third in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands Gr.I.

“It takes a special horse to win or place in Grade 1 races on all three surfaces,” Romans said.

Jerry Crawford’s Donegal Racing partnership owns Paddy O’Prado, who has won five of 14 starts and earned $1,721,297.