M M G Stables' multiple grade 3 winner El Areeb continues to progress following surgery to repair a fractured knee that knocked him off the Triple Crown trail.
Trainer Cal Lynch said the 3-year-old Exchange Rate colt had stitches removed April 17, two weeks after he was operated on at the New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa., by Dr. Dean Richardson.
El Areeb will remain at Lynch's Laurel Park barn before being sent 90 minutes north to the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md., to continue his recovery.
"Everything looks really good. Fingers crossed, he'll go to the farm in another week or two and then he'll be out there for a few months on the treadmill and the AquaTred," Lynch said. "So far, so good. He looks great, and he's happy and content. He's been a very good patient."
El Areeb reeled off four consecutive wins, including a maiden victory and the James F. Lewis III Stakes at Laurel to cap his 2-year-old season and the Jerome (G3) and Withers (G3) stakes to open his sophomore campaign as one of the leading Triple Crown contenders.
He finished fourth as the favorite in the Gotham Stakes (G3) March 4 and was being pointed to the Wood Memorial (G2) April 8, but exited a March 29 breeze at Laurel with a fractured knee. Normally in high spirits around the barn, El Areeb has been a model patient.
"We're very surprised, actually, that he's been as good a patient as he is," Lynch said. "He knows everybody's here just trying to take care of him and keep him happy and get him healthy again. Fingers crossed, he'll come back as good as he was. Credit to the owners, they're all about the horse—all about the horse. It makes it really easy to train for those guys."