El Kabeir, Justin Squared primed for graded stakes

Posted to: El Kabeir Thursday, June 9, 2016
El Kabeir, Justin Squared primed for graded stakes
Zayat Stables is back at Belmont Park a year after American Pharoah's historic Triple Crown, this time with a El Kabier and Justin Squared in a pair of graded stakes.

El Kabeir, a multiple graded stakes winner of $853,237, goes back to the main track for the $1.25 million Metropolitan H. (G1) following his first try on the turf in the Dixie S. (G2) on Preakness day. 

The Dixie was El Kabeir's first start since early February. The 4-year-old son of Scat Daddy is looking to recapture the form that saw him win a trio of graded stakes while on the 2015 Triple Crown trail. 

El Kabeir drew the rail in the 13-horse field and will be ridden by Manny Franco for trainer John Terranova. 

The Metropolitan is race 9 on Saturday, with a post time of 4:41 p.m. ET.

Justin Squared, who drew post 4 for the seven-furlong Woody Stephens (G2), has been flawless in his three starts: a Del Mar maiden special weight, a Los Alamitos allowance, and the Chick Lang S. at Pimlico.

More impressively, the 3-year-old Zensational colt trained by Bob Baffert, has never been behind at any point of call in all of his starts. 

Martin Pedroza, who has been aboard the speedster each time, has the call again Saturday. Justin Squared has worked superbly since the Chick Lang, blazing a bullet four furlongs in :46 2/5 at Santa Anita on June 1, then coming right back four days later and nearly duplicating the move.

The $500,000 Woody Stephens drew a field of 13; carded as race 7 on Saturday, it goes postward at 3:15 p.m. ET.