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El Padrino is a three-year-old, Kentucky foaled thoroughbred, who has won three of his past five races to move up on many lists as a Kentucky Derby favorite.

El Padrino was bred and foaled in Kentucky by Emory A. Hamilton and is owned by Let’s Go Racing. Pulpit is sire to El Padrino, and is one of the top studs in the country. Pulpit didn’t have a long racing career, but he was a favorite in the 1997 Kentucky Derby, in which he finished fourth. He had to retire because of a leg injury after the Kentucky Derby, but prior to that he had won the Fountain of Youth Stakes, as well as the Florida Derby.

El Padrino made his first start in a special weight maiden race at Saratoga, where he took a stumble out of the gate, but recovered quickly. He showed great closing speed after trailing as far back as tenth and finished second, behind B Shanny. His second race would be at Belmont Park in another special weight maiden where El Padrino took home his first win and started to be looked at as a future contender. His final race as a two-year-old would come at Aqueduct in the Grade II Remsen Stakes. For most of the race, he rode the rail just a length or so behind the leaders. At the stretch is where he made his move on the frontrunners. He closed out well, but couldn’t manage to catch the winner, O’ Prado Again, who won by a half-length over Souper Speedy. El Padrino finished third, really surging in the final stages.

El Padrino has had a great start to his three-year-old career, posting wins in first two starts. He has been jockeyed by Javier Castellano in each of his 2012 affairs. In his first effort, he ran in a mile and 1/16 allowance race at Gulfstream Park, in Florida. Once again, El Padrino would show off his style as a closer. At the ½ mile mark Take Charge Indy moved into the front of the pack with a large lead of about six lengths. The far turn is where El Padrino would start to move, making up a lot of ground quickly. Down the stretch he caught the leader and won pulling away. His next race would be at Fairgrounds Park in the Grade II Risen Star Stakes. Again, El Padrino stayed just off the pace. After clearing the turn, the leader for much of the race, Hero of Order, began to tire as another possible Derby contender, Mark Valeski, took the lead. Castellano turned up the heat and El Padrino began a late surge and ran neck-and-neck with Mark Valeski winning a photo finish by a nose.

With the Kentucky Derby just around the corner, El Padrino still has some work to do, but he has caught the attention of racing gurus and fans alike. The goal for Pletcher’s colt is to run in Louisville on the 4th of May, but he’ll likely have one more race to run before that in the Florida Derby or possibly the Louisiana Derby. El Padrino is likely to be a top contender for the Kentucky Derby and if you want to see him run in person with other top horses such as Union Rags, you can secure your tickets by contacting the folks at Derby offers outstanding ticket packages which include hotel reservations and other great amenities. They can also help you get into the best restaurants in town as well as helping you make the most of your trip to Louisville with horse farm tours and sightseeing on the bourbon trail. Go to or call 877-DERBYKY to book the vacation of a lifetime!