El Padrino will be kicking off his quest for a chance to Run for the Roses in the Grade III Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds racecourse on January 21st.
The colt, by Pulpit ex Enchanted Rock by Giant's Causeway, worked a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.40 at Palm Meadows training center on Monday morning. Trainer Todd Pletcher is hopeful about El Padrino's start later this month, noting that the horse has done very well since he shipped down to Florida in early December and what we like most about the Lecomte is the two-turns and the timing of the race, which allows us a few options going forward.
The Lecomte Stakes, running at 1 mile 70 yards, is one of the first races in a string of Derby preps leading up to the first Saturday in May. Its early date on the calendar will allow for ample spacing between prep races, and the Louisiana track should test El Padrino's ability to adapt to different environments and his maturity.
This will be El Padrino's 3-year-old debut and first start after his impressive third place finish in Aqueduct's Grade II Remsen Stakes in November. He has already shown his versatility in his Remsen effort, breaking his maiden last October over a sloppy Belmont track by 12 3/4 lengths, and his place finish last August in Saratoga.
We look forward to a solid work this weekend and then on to NOLA!