El Kabeir has been one of the most frequent point scorers in the early months of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series. Owned by Zayat Stables, the gray son of Scat Daddy has two wins, two seconds and a third from his first six graded stakes appearances.
Third behind the highly-regarded Blofed in his maiden debut at Saratoga last August, El Kabeir then graduated by 10 3/4 lengths over the same track 16 days later going seven furlongs. He was next entered in the Champagne at Belmont Park, but finished a well-beaten fourth in the slop.
Again defeated by Blofeld in the Nashua at Aqueduct in early November, El Kabeir emerged from that second-place finish to win the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs by a head over Grade 3 turf winner Imperia. He had a more comfortable score to start the new year in the January 3 Jerome, winning that one-mile and 70-yard test by 4 3/4 lengths over Aqueduct’s inner dirt.
El Kabeir attempted to notch a second straight win at Aqueduct in the February 7 Withers going 1 1/16 miles, but was run down by Far From Over in the final furlong. El Kabeir wound up second, beaten 1 3/4 lengths.
With Far From Over bypassing the $400,000 Gotham on March 7, El Kabeir was sent away as the 6-5 favorite in that 1 1/16-mile prep. Dropping well off the pace for the first time in his career, El Kabeir was down 12 lengths at the first call and eight lengths at the second, but eventually outclassed his rivals to win by a comfortable 2 3/4 lengths.
El Kabeir made his final prep in the $1 million Wood Memorial on April 4. Trailing down the backside and around the far turn, he made a modest late run to finish third, 5 3/4 lengths behind Frosted.