Paddy O'Prado wins the Dixie Stakes
Paddy O'Prado rallied from last to win the $200,000 Dixie Stakes on the turf, the richest stakes on the Preakness undercard Saturday at Pimlico.
It was a successful return to Maryland for the gray colt who was sixth in last year's Preakness. Kent Desormeaux was aboard as the 4-year-old made his season debut for trainer Dale Romans.
The early trailer, Paddy O'Prado started to pick off rivals down the backstretch and keep coming through the lane, beating Baryshnikov by 1 1/2 lengths. The 3-5 favorite paid $3.20 to win. The time was 1:53.56 for the 1 1-8 miles over the good course.
Apart, the 6-5 favorite, reeled in the front-running Colizeo by a neck in the $100,000 William Donald Schaefer Memorial Stakes. It was the first win in four starts this season for the 4-year-old trained by Al Stall, Jr. and ridden by Garrett Gomez. They teamed to win this race last year with Blame, the eventual 2010 Champion Older Male Horse.
Apart ran the 1 1-16 miles in 1:43.70, paying $4.40 to win.
No Explaining got her first stakes win in the $100,000 Gallorette Handicap, beating Desert Sage by one length in the stakes for fillies and mares on the turf.
The 4-year-old bred in Ireland is based in Canada with trainer Roger Attfield. John Velazquez was aboard as she improved to 5 for 11, paying $8.80 to win. The time was 1:46.65 for the 1 1-16 miles.
Dyna Waltz was third with Shared Account, the 2010 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner, getting fourth in her season debut.
Ventana, the 8-5 favorite, edged Immortal Eyes by a neck at the end of a hotly-contested showdown in the $100,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap.
Travis Dunkelberger, Immortal Eye's rider, claimed foul against Martin Garcia and Immortal Eyes, claiming interference in the stretch. The stewards disallowed the objection following a video review.
Ventana, a 5-year-old trained by Bob Baffert, paid $5.20 to win. The time was 1.09.88 for the six furlongs.
Super Espresso, owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, edged Payton d'Oro by three quarters of a length in the $100,000 Allaire Dupont Distaff Stakes for fillies and mares.
The 4-year-old perked up on the switch back to the main track following a 56 1/2-length loss on grass in the Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland. Ramon Dominguez was aboard for trainer Todd Pletcher as she ran the 1 1-16th miles in 1:42.85, paying $24.20 to win.
Pletcher's other runner in the race, Life At Ten, was third as the even-money favorite.
Life At Ten is winless in two starts this year. She was a controversial figure last November in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic where she was listless in the paddock before merely galloping around the track well behind the pack as the 7-2 second choice.
Jockey John Velazquez was eventually fined $10,000 by the Kentucky Racing Commission for not notifying the track veterinarian of concerns he had about the mare's condition expressed in a pre-race television interview.