Zayat Stables’ El Kabeir was easy to label as a front-running type entering Saturday’s $400,000 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct, but the gray colt displayed new tactics in rallying boldly from off the pace, posting a convincing 2 ¾-length victory.

The 1 1/16-mile race is part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series and El Kabeir stamped his ticket while vaulting to the top of the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with the 50-point winner’s share, improving his total to 75 points.

He’s expected to make his final Kentucky Derby prep in the $1 million Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 4.

Trained by John Terranova and ridden by C.C. Lopez, the son of Scat Daddy was favored at 6-5 in the 10-horse Gotham and stopped the teletimer in 1:45.56 on the muddy inner track. He’s now earned $678,892 from an 8-4-2-1 record.

El Kabeir captured the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs in late November and opened his sophomore season with a victory in the January 3 Jerome. He was exiting a runner-up finish in the February 7 Withers.

Bred in Florida, El Kabeir was purchased for $250,000 at the 2013 OBS August sale.

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