El Areeb, winner of the James F. Lewis, Jerome and Withers Stakes, will not be able to continue down the road to the Kentucky Derby.
In a story first reported by DRF.com, El Areeb has been diagnosed with a right knee injury following a workout at Laurel Park yesterday. It's not a life-threatening injury, and he's scheduled to have surgery on Monday at New Bolton Center in Pennsylvania.
“It’s the right knee, there’s a chip and maybe a slab,” trainer Cal Lynch said.
Most recently third in the Gotham Stakes, El Areeb was being pointed to the Wood Memorial on April 8.
“There was a little heat in his knee when we checked him his morning and we took some X-rays of it and didn’t like what we saw,” Lynch said. “Charlie worked him yesterday and if he had hurt himself or gone down yesterday it would have been a hell of a lot worse. As long as he’s all right and everyone’s safe, that’s the main thing. Athletes get injuries, and that’s the way it goes.
“Thank God it’s not career-ending or anything like that, and the prognosis is good,” he added. “We’re just grateful that he’s all right and he’s going to be OK. His health and welfare is more important than any one race. He’ll have a career, and a life.
El Areeb will be away from the races for several months.
“We’ll see how the surgery and everything goes and whatever Dean Richardson says, that’s what he’ll get. Usually it’ll be six months,” Lynch said. “It’s just one of those things. It’s part of racing. The owners were really, really good about it. They took everything really well. Just do the right thing by the horse and we’ll get him back here in a few months and go from there.”
By Dick Downey