Owner Ahmed Zayat said El Kabeir did not go to the track at Churchill Downs the morning of May 1 because he took a couple of bad steps and was not sound, but he has not been scratched out of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Zayat said trainer John Terranova's personnel were working with the Scat Daddy colt and would see if he improved throughout the day. He said the colt is not being treated with any medication. The owner said if El Kabeir did not show any further signs of an injury, he would go to the track early Saturday to determine if he would run.
"It might be the beginning of an abscess or a quarter crack, and at this juncture we decided not to take him to the track," Zayat said, noting that during his April 30 exercise El Kabeir "was golden."
Zayat, who owns Derby morning-line favorite American Pharoah and another Derby starter, Mr. Z , said he feels bad for Terranova; his wife, Tonja; and his staff over the possibility El Kabeir might miss the Derby.
"I am heart-broken for the Terranovas," Zayat said. "They worked unbelievable with this horse over the winter and now they face the possibility he won't run in the Derby. John knows if he is not sound, if he is not 100%, and if he does not improve, he will not run.
"We are taking cautious steps. He knows the horse comes first with me."
Winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill as a 2-year-old and two grade III stakes this year, El Kabeir is 30-1 on the morning line.