05/14/2012 4:18PM

Belmont: El Padrino gets extended vacation till fall

Tom Keyser
El Padrino will skip the Belmont Stakes and point to a fall campaign.

If Mark Valeski runs in the Belmont, one horse he won’t have to worry about facing is El Padrino, who beat Mark Valeski by a nose in the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds on Feb. 25.

Trainer Todd Pletcher said Monday that El Padrino, 13th in the Kentucky Derby, was sent over the weekend to Win Star Farm, where he will get a little vacation and be pointed for a fall campaign.

“He’s been in training since March of last year – he was one of the first 2-year-olds to come in,” Pletcher said. “He’s had a long steady campaign; just thought we’d freshen him up a bit.”

The decision to freshen El Padrino combined with the foot injury to Gemologist means Pletcher will not have a starter in this year’s Belmont Stakes. Pletcher had at least one runner in seven of the last eight Belmonts – he skipped 2005 – winning it in 2007 with the filly Rags to Riches and running second in 2009 with Dunkirk and last year with Stay Thirsty.