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Jan 08, 2015

El Kabeir rolls to victory in Jerome Stakes


Ozone Park, NY ( - Post time favorite El Kabeir left the competition behind down the stretch to capture Saturday's $200,000 Jerome Stakes for 3-year-olds at Aqueduct.

Although the weather was cold and wet, the racing was hot at Aqueduct as New York began its stakes series for Kentucky Derby hopefuls. Eight 3-year-olds left the starting gate for the mile, 70 yard event. El Kabeir was the 7-5 favorite with C. C. Lopez filling in for Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel.

El Kabeir, breaking from the far outside post, was caught four wide around the first turn as 5-2 second pick Ostrolenka took the lead. The favorite, trained by John Terranova, stalked the leader from the outside and was three wide around the final turn.

Owned by Zayat Stables, El Kabeir edged to the lead at the top of the stretch and increased his advantage to the wire. The gray colt posted a 4 3/4-length win over 5-1 third choice Nasa with 14-1 longshot General Bellamy third.

"It was nice seeing him sit off horses for the first time," said Terranova. "I was kind of curious about that because I didn't know if that scenario played out how he'd react this time, but certainly it worked out fine."

Ackeret finished fourth followed by Ostrolenka, Mini Cosmo, Now We Are Free and Royal Burgh. Tencendur was an early scratch.

The time for the Jerome was 1:44.69 on a track listed as good.

Part of the Kentucky Derby points series, the win was worth 10 points to increase El Kabeir's total to 21.

"It's a long way away, but as long as he stays healthy, we have a runner here," Terranova said about going to the Kentucky Derby on May 2.

"It may be the Withers back here or maybe we'll skip it and go to the Gotham, maybe we'll go out of town, but I have no problems staying here. I love having horses here in New York. He's thriving and he's got a great foundation under him now."

The 3-year-old collected $120,000 for his second straight win and third overall. The colt has earned $388,892 from six starts.

El Kabeir broke his maiden by 10 3/4 lengths in his second start on Aug. 30 at Saratoga. He was fourth in the slop in the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 4 and second in Aqueduct's Nashua Stakes on Nov. 2 in the mud.

The colt went wire to wire to win the 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs on Nov. 29.

El Kabeir returned $4.90, $3.20 and $2.60. Nasa paid $4.60 and $4.20, and General Bellamy paid $6.00 to show.

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