El Kabeir Headlines Withers


Zayat Stables' streaking “TDN Rising Star” El Kabeir (Scat Daddy) shoots for his third straight tally against six maiden winners in today's GIII Withers S. at Aqueduct. The gray–a well-beaten second behind unbeaten Blofeld (Quality Road) over a muddy going in the GII Nashua S. Nov. 2–held on to secure a narrow victory in the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. at Churchill Nov. 29. El Kabeir turned in a powerful performance to annex the GIII Jerome S. by 4 3/4 lengths over this course last time Jan. 3. 

“We're just going off how he's responding,” trainer John Terranova II said. “If he doesn't run well or doesn't come out of a race well, we'd space out his races, but we're taking it one race at a time. We're blessed to have a sound horse that's been doing very well with the workload he's taken on.” 

Classy Class (Discreetly Mine), a smart debut winner with an 88 Beyer Speed Figure going 6 1/2 furlongs at Belmont Oct. 25, could be a popular alternative. Ambitiously spotted for his second start with a very wide draw in the nine-furlong GII Remsen S. Nov. 29, the Cheyenne Stables colorbearer pressed eventual winner Leave the Light On (Horse Greeley) from his outside and tired in the stretch to finish a well-beaten fourth. 

“We absolutely think he wants two turns,” Kiaran McLaughlin's assistant trainer Arthur Magnuson said. “[The Remsen] was only his second start; we went from 6 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/8 miles–that's a lot to ask–and he ran very well. We were very pleased with his race. He's [still eligible for a non-winners of one], but he can run with this kind.” 

A pair of sons of Blame head into the deep end following maiden victories. March (Blame), a half-brother to GIII Bay Shore S. winner Eightyfiveinafifty (Forest Camp), followed a debut second behind subsequent Fred Cappy Capossela S. third Ship Disturber (Sky Mesa) Nov. 29 with a narrow win as the 4-5 chalk over next-out graduate Dontbetwithbruno (Tiz Wonderful) in his two-turn debut here Jan. 11. Far From Over (Blame), meanwhile, never said die in a game performance to don cap and gown going a mile and 70 yards at the Big A Dec. 12. The $550,000 KEESEP yearling purchase has been working smartly at Todd Pletcher's Palm Beach Downs base since.

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