El Kabeir Tops Derby Points Standings After Jerome Victory

The John Terranova trained El Kabeir vaulted to the top of the Road to the Derby Points Standings with his victory in the $200,000 Jerome (G3) at Aqueduct on Jan 3. The colt also continues to take betting action in early Kentucky Derby wagering and is currently at odds of 16-1 at Bodog.

A winner of two of his five starts as a juvenile, he picked up 10 points for his Jerome win in his three-year-old debut, giving him a leading total of 21. The colt earned 10 points for his victory in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) on Nov. 29 and one point for his fourth place finish in the Champagne Stakes (G1) on Oct. 4.

The son of Scat Daddy was sent off as the betting favorite in the Jerome, and he overcame some trouble for the victory. He picked up a new jockey in Chuck Lopez after his regular rider Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel had to give up the mount after a death in the family.

The colt got off poorly after bobbling at the break, and found himself in unfamiliar territory chasing runners in third. He raced wide much of the trip, but had plenty left in the stretch, drawing away to win by 4 ¾ lengths, returning $4.90. The winner's purse of $180,000 pushed his lifetime earnings to $448,892.

His final preps to get to Louisville will likely be in New York where there are three more stakes races with Derby points up for grabs–the $250,000 Withers (G3) on February 7, the $400,000 Gotham (G3) on March 7, and the $1 million Wood Memorial (G1) on April 4.

His 21 Derby points would have been enough to make it into the field the past two years, so the barn can take a conservative route to getting to the Run to the Roses if they so choose.

American Pharoah remains the early betting favorite among Kentucky Derby horses, currently at 10-1 at Bodog. The winner of the Del Mar Futurity (G1) and Frontrunner (G1) missed the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) with a foot bruise.

The Bob Baffert trainee is currently in a tie for sixth in the Derby points standings with 10.

The runner up in his last two starts was Calculator, who came back to win the $100,000 Sham Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita last Saturday. The victory earned the Peter Miller trained horse his first career win and 10 Derby points. He is currently third in the standings with 14 total points.

Calculator was not listed in last week’s Derby odds at Bodog but figures to move up among the top contenders when new odds are released.

The next Derby points races on tap are the $200,000 Lecomte Stakes (G3) at Fair Grounds on Jan. 17 and the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park on Jan. 19.