Race of the Week 2017

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Zipse At The Track

El regreso de El Padrino

If you are a regular reader of this column, you know that one of my favorite horses all winter for the 2012 Kentucky Derby was El Padrino. After a fast optional claiming win over Take Charge Indy at Gulfstream Park on January 29, and then a game decision over Mark Valeski in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes in New Orleans, I figured I was on to something. Of course, those good vibrations would be short-lived. 
El Padrino could no better than a fourth place finish in the Grade 1 Florida Derby, as the previously vanquished Take Charge Indy upset both him and Union Rags. Still the somewhat troubled performance, in which he was only beaten three lengths, left me some hope for the Run for the Roses. No chance. The running line reads, “steadied” and “roughed”,  but that is little consolation to anyone who played the 29-1 shot, as they watched the good looking son of Pulpit finish 13th beaten some 20 lengths.  A vacation followed, and most of the rest of the year went by with little mentioned of El Padrino. But now, more than seven months removed from the first Saturday in May, the good people in South Florida are almost set for the return of the Godfather.
The Todd Pletcher chestnut charge is listed as a heavy favorite in Gulfstream Park’s featured race tomorrow.  The one-mile affair is carded as the day’s fourth race, carries a purse of $60,500, and includes a number of horses not unfamiliar with stakes company. 
Second choice, Adirondack King has yet to hit the winner’s circle this year, but not for a lack of solid efforts. The son of Lawyer Ron has been competitive in several stakes this year including a 2nd in the Barbaro, and a 3rd in the Southwest Stakes. Most recently he was a bit unlucky to finish a head and a nose away from second place money in Aqueduct’s Grade 3 Discovery Handicap.
Citrus Kid has been strictly a turf horse the past few years and has not started since finishing second in Parx Racing’s $250,000 President’s Cup more than a year ago, but he does have a 2-for-4 record on dirt, including a win in the Dover Stakes, and a third place finish in the Remsen Stakes, back in 2009.
The richest horse in the race meanwhile is Decisive Moment. The three-time stakes winner in 2011 is 0-for-6 so far this year, but comes in off one of his stronger efforts of late when finishing a good 4th in last month’s Delta Mile. He also will don blinkers for the first time since his juvenile season tomorrow.
El Padrino may have some solid competition in his return race, but the Let's Go Stable runner has been working well, including a bullet five furlongs last Thursday, and really should have little trouble with this group. Yes, I’ve liked him before, and it seems a safe bet I will like him again. Look for a win tomorrow that sends him off to bigger and better things in 2013.


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Older Comments about El regreso de El Padrino...

This is one of those allowance races that could be a listed stakes race. Hope to The Godfather back in the winner's circle.
I hope The Godfather is back for a big 4YO season.
I saw him at Keeneland in October. He has definitely grown alot and put on some good weight!! I can't wait to see this handsome chestnut run again :)

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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