Profile: El Padrino
El Padrino (Eclipse Sportswire)
El Padrino is a horse that I find extremely interesting. Whether he can stay with the highest-level horses in this field remains to be seen, but I wouldn’t be afraid to send him into the fight. He is pushing at the door of the highest level, and he hasn’t shown me any signs of wearing out emotionally while he is in battle.
El Padrino is able to move through groups, and he has good grit, a no-quit attitude. I see some tenacity in this horse, and he has no obvious hang-ups. He manages chaos well, moves well laterally, and he’s pretty efficient in most of his motion. He has a really nice forward, into-space focus.
El Padrino doesn’t make space with his presence, but you can tell the other horses feel him. Take Charge Indy knew he was coming at him in the allowance race at Gulfstream. He also took control of Mark Valeski right before the wire in the Risen Star Stakes.
I think El Padrino got caught up in circumstances in the Florida Derby. Union Rags was the best horse in that race, but I see a growth pattern with El Padrino. He is learning something each time, and he is getting better and better. There’s no doubt in my mind he can maintain a psychological focus over a distance of ground. He gets tougher the more demanding the circumstances, and that’s a good quality to have.
This horse runs with no fear, and I think he is going to keep these horses honest. Having El Padrino in the mix in the Derby is going to be very interesting.