El Kabeir wins thriller in $100K City of Laurel S.

Posted to: El Kabeir Sunday, November 15, 2015
El Kabeir wins thriller in $100K City of Laurel S.
Zayat Stables’ multiple graded stakes winner El Kabeir won what was arguably the most exciting race of his career in Saturday’s $100,000 City of Laurel S. at Laurel Park when just a nose separated the top three finishers in the seven furlong contest.

With a hot pace of :22.92 seconds for the first quarter mile, Cornelio Velasquez had El Kabeir running comfortably along the rail a few lengths off the leaders. Around the turn, Velasquez eased off the rail and came three wide into the stretch. With a full head of steam, El Kabeir forged to the front inside the last furlong and had just enough to hold off Roxbury N Overton, who had the stretch lead, and Duff, who made a late run up the inside.

The final time on the fast track was 1:23.58.

“We gave him a couple months off after the (Kentucky) Derby. The Zayat family, obviously, had American Pharoah going through the summer, so we just gave this horse the proper rest. He had nine straight races from the time he started as a 2-year-old. We said, ‘Let’s let him grow up,’” trainer John Terranova said. “Since he came back training he hasn’t missed a beat. He ran a couple a weeks ago in the Bold Ruler – a tough race to come back in. Today, he had to grind it out a little late. Once we put him back in route races, that’s when I think we’ll see him coming back into top form.”

El Kabeir registered his fifth victory in 10 starts that include stakes scores in the Gotham S. (G3), Jerome S. (G3) this year and Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) as a 2-year-old. He has earned $834,892 to date.