Easy Move Today, Then One More
El Areeb had an easy work Wednesday morning at Laurel Park as he continues preparations for his next start in the Wood Memorial on April 8 at Aqueduct.
Trainer Cal Lynch is fond of long works. Running 1 1/8 mile over the main track in company with multiple stakes winner Winter, El Areeb was timed in 51.60 for the final half-mile. Lynch’s son and assistant, Charlie, was aboard El Areeb with current meet-leading rider Trevor McCarthy on Winter.
Video link El Areeb: https://youtu.be/NZloauqBsLE
“He felt great. He keeps continuing to grow and get better and better every day. We loved the way he worked today,” Charlie Lynch said. “He was pulling me all the way around there so we’re really happy with that. My dad had a really big smile on his face when we got back so that’s a good sign, usually.”
Winter, a winner of three straight including the Nellie Morse and Maryland Racing Media Stakes at Laurel, will run back in the Top Flight Invitational Handicap Sunday at Aqueduct.
El Areeb has worked three times since having his four-race win streak snapped when fourth as the favorite in the Gotham on March 4.
“It was an easier work today than last week. Winter is running in the stake on Sunday, and I didn’t want her to go too fasts and leave her race on the track,” Cal Lynch said. “They both worked really good and came back good. It looks like the Wood is right on schedule.”
Cal Lynch said El Areeb will have a final breeze April 4 and ship to New York the following day. Among the horses he is expected to face in his first time going 1 1/8 mile is Irish War Cry.
“We haven’t run into him yet. We’re not trying to make life any harder than we have to,” Lynch said. “At some point you have to run into them, if it has to be the Wood. This will separate them out a little bit, then we’ll decide who’s going to the Derby and who’s not.
“We can only train our horse. If he does what he’s supposed to do, he’s competitive with all those horses,” he added. “Numbers-wise if he runs back to any of his three or four races before, he’s competitive.”
Edited Maryland Jockey Club release