04/05/2012 5:41PM

Kentucky Derby: El Padrino, with clean bill of health, still on the trail

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Tom Keyser
El Padrino will continue training at Palm Meadows in Florida until just days before the Kentucky Derby.

El Padrino was given a clean bill of health following his fourth-place finish in last Saturday's Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park and will continue to point to the Kentucky Derby, his connections said Thursday.

According to Kevin Scatuorchio, part of the Let's Go Stable that owns El Padrino, winner of the Risen Star Stakes, the horse was sent to Ocala Equine Hospital in Florida for an examination. Doctors there did not find anything wrong with the colt, so he will be trained toward the Derby provided he can get into the field. El Padrino, trained by Todd Pletcher, has $250,000 in graded stakes earnings.

"As we want to be very thorough and diligent in managing our colt over the next 30 days leading up to the Kentucky Derby, we recently sent El Padrino to Ocala Equine Hospital for a complete examination with no remarkable findings," Scatuorchio wrote in an e-mail.

"He's in great physical condition and excellent health and will continue to train at Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach, Fla., through the month of April."

Scatuorchio said that El Padrino was scheduled to van back to Palm Meadows on Friday morning.

Pletcher said he intends train El Padrino, and any of his other 3-year-olds that may qualify for the Kentucky Derby, at Palm Meadows until May 1, when he will ship them to Louisville.

"Last year, went to Churchill and watched it rain for 16 consecutive days and trained on a sloppy track every day," Pletcher said. "If anything, it'll be a little warm, but you can pretty much rely on a more consistent weather pattern, I believe.

"It gets really quiet at Palm Meadows. It's almost like having a private training center really," Pletcher added. "If it gets too hot or something we can always ship."