El Kabeir

Trainer: John Terranova
Jockey: C. C. Lopez

With eight starts already under his belt, El Kabeir is one of the most experienced runners heading toward Louisville on the first Saturday of May, and having a solid foundation as a juvenile is important when trying to get 1 ¼ miles as a three-year-old.

The colt made five starts as a juvenile, winning Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs and running second in the Nashua at Aqueduct.

He was no match for Daredevil and Upstart in the Champagne Stakes in October where he placed a distant fourth, but that race was contested over a sloppy main track at Aqueduct, and he has shown steady improvement since that effort.

His three-year-old campaign started well, winning the Jerome on Jan. 3 at Aqueduct, but he then was upset as the betting choice in the Withers, beaten by Far From Over.

The John Terranova trainee bounced back with a victory in the Gotham on March 7, which placed him squarely on top of the Road to the Derby points standings with 75.

His speed figures have come up light compared to some of his Derby rivals, but he has won three stakes and has the advantage of a win over the Churchill Downs surface.

There will be plenty rooting for this colt as he is ridden by 54-year-old Chuck Lopez, who would be making his first start in the Kentucky Derby. Terranova knows his way around a good horse, as he was formerly a top assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.

His final prep for Louisville will come in New York in the Wood Memorial on April 4. The colt will need to run faster than he has in his last few starts to be considered a legitimate threat to win the Run for the Roses.

His sire Scat Daddy went down the Derby trail, winning the Champagne, Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby, but was a disappointing 18th in the 2007 Kentucky Derby.