Paddy O'Prado made a sensational return to grass Saturday by dominating the Grade 2, $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup at Colonial Downs in New Kent, Va.
Third in the Kentucky Derby and sixth in the Preakness after racing primarily on turf, Paddy O'Prado reestablished himself as a major force in the 3-year-old turf division by drawing clear to win the 1 3/16-mile Colonial Cup by three lengths as the favorite. Kent Desormeaux was aboard for owner Donegal Racing and trainer Dale Romans.
"The colt ran a spectacular race," said Romans, who traveled from Louisville, Ky., for the day. "He's a really exciting racehorse, just the way he does things so well."
Always in a comfortable spot while saving ground a few lengths off the pace, Paddy O'Prado rushed up to challenge Two Notch Road and Workin for Hops leaving the far turn, then pulled away with authority to notch his first victory since he captured the Grade 3 Palm Beach at Gulfstream Park in March. He returned $5 after finishing in 1:54.20 over a firm course.
Workin for Hops, a 9-1 shot, was second, another 1 3/4 lengths before Two Notch Road in a field of seven. Doubles Partner, the 2-1 second choice, was fourth.
Romans said Paddy O'Prado, a gray El Prado colt, will run next in the July 17 Virginia Derby and Aug. 21 Secretariat at Arlington Park. The colt earned $294,000 to lift his bankroll to $758,497.
In earlier Saturday races at Colonial:
* Shared Account ($6) got a good stalking trip under Edgar Prado and wore down her opposition to post a one-length victory in the Grade 3, $150,000 All Along Stakes.
Trained by Graham Motion for Sagamore Farm, Shared Account finished the 1 1/8-mile turf race in 1:49.16 for her fifth victory from 12 lifetime starts. A 4-year-old Pleasantly Perfect filly, Shared Account was a presence in her division last year and was making just her second start of 2010.
Dynaslew rallied belatedly to get second by a nose in a very tight three-horse photo, with front-running Tizaqueena and Casablanca Smile dead-heating for third.
* Lady Rizzi ($10.60), with Alan Garcia riding for trainer Linda Rice, held off 23-1 shot If Not for Lust to post a head victory in the $50,000 Buckland Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf. Libor Lady, the 7-5 favorite in a field of 11 fillies and mares, was prominent throughout before settling for third, another length back.