Updated on 04/22/2012 12:27AM

2012 Kentucky Derby: Gemologist, El Padrino get in works for Pletcher

Barbara D. Livingston
Gemologist worked two days earlier than planned at Palm Meadows.

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Todd Pletcher pulled an audible with his prospective Kentucky Derby starters Gemologist and El Padrino early Friday morning, making the decision to work both 3-year-olds after the renovation break at the Palm Meadows training center with the possibility of heavy rains predicted for the local area beginning later that afternoon and continuing throughout the weekend. Both Gemologist and El Padrino had been scheduled to work at Palm Meadows on Sunday.

Gemologist (five furlongs in 1:00.84): With exercise rider Hector Ramos aboard, the Wood Memorial winner was the first of Pletcher’s Derby duo to work. Gemologist broke off outside of his undefeated stablemate Overdriven, a Grade 1 winner in his own right who has been working steadily here in preparation for his 3-year-old debut.

Gemologist and Overdriven breezed along on even terms through an opening quarter in 24.87 seconds and three-eighths in 36.78. Gemologist changed leads on cue and remained in hand while beginning to gradually edge clear from his partner approaching the wire. He galloped out another eighth-mile in 13.29 to complete six furlongs in 1:14.13 before pulling up seven-eighths in 1:27.81.

[KENTUCKY DERBY WORKOUTS: Latest updates, Mike Welsch's video reports]

Gemologist was very professional in his first work since winning the Wood just 13 days earlier, doing nothing flashy or spectacular while still able to hold his talented workmate at bay without need of urging.

El Padrino (five furlongs in 1:00.48): The last-minute change in schedule brought the Risen Star winner back just five days since his previous work over the local surface on Sunday.

El Padrino was paired up with Pletcher’s horse Hudson Steele, a turf stakes winner at 3 but idle nearly a year. With regular exercise rider Isabelle Bourez aboard El Padrino, the team came away a little slower than the previous set, posting a 25.32 first quarter before picking up the pace approaching the stretch to  complete three-eighths in 36.82. El Padrino had to be urged slightly to keep up with Hudson Steele nearing the wire, finishing about a head behind but after a final quarter-mile in a sharp 23.66. The duo continued on very willingly into the turn, galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.34 and pulling up seven-eighths in 1:26.73.         

Although El Padrino struggled a bit at the end to keep pace with his older mate, the fact he was able to come home his final three-eighths in 35.16 and continue out strongly into and around the turn was encouraging and an improvement over his final Florida Derby work as well as his first post-race breeze here last Sunday in company with Travers winner Stay Thirsty.    

Trainer Todd Pletcher said afterward he was pleased with both works, especially “the way El Padrino got a good, strong gallop-out.”

Down the turnpike at Calder, trainer Bisnath Parboo postponed the work he had scheduled for Trinniberg on Friday morning  and along with it the decision  whether to run the Bay Shore winner in the Derby or one-mile Derby Trial one week earlier.