Racing News

El Padrino works for likely start in Florida Derby

  • El Padrino (Lou Hodges Jr./Hodges Photography)

At Palm Meadows on Sunday, Grade 2 Risen Star winner El Padrino worked five furlongs in 1:01 1/5 on the fast track.

The Todd Pletcher colt, who was originally expected to return to Fair Grounds for the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby on April 1, has now shifted his attention to the Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on March 31, and a clash with early Kentucky Derby favorite Union Rags.

"It was a very good work with a strong gallop out," Pletcher said of El Padrino's move.

Two starts back, El Padrino was an impressive allowance winner over the Gulfstream track on January 29, beating Florida Derby rival Take Charge Indy.

Recent turf allowance hero Our Entourage, likely bound for the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 7, negotiated five panels in the exact same time as El Padrino.

A few other Pletcher three-year-olds posted works.

Unbeaten Heavy Breathing sped a half-mile in :48 1/5 in preparation for his stakes debut in Saturday's Grade 3 Spiral at Turfway.

Smart maiden winner Windsurfer earned the five-furlong bullet by blitzing in :59 2/5, fastest of 13 drills at the distance.

Grade 2 Demoiselle heroine Disposablepleasure, a Triple Crown nominee, strode in 1:02 4/5. A well-beaten fourth in the Grade 2 Davona Dale in her 2012 debut, the daughter of Giacomo could look to rebound in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks on March 31.

Also on Sunday, the Dale Romans-trained News Pending traveled five-eighths in 1:02 2/5 over Gulfstream's fast main track. Runner-up to Union Rags in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth in his latest, he has several options for his next start, including the Florida Derby.

A son of Harlan's Holiday, News Pending has run three times at the Gulfstream meet, breaking his maiden on turf on December 22 and finishing second in a turf allowance on February 5 before the Fountain of Youth.