MMG Stables' multiple Grade 3 winner El Areeb, one of the leading Triple Crown contenders last winter before being sidelined with a knee injury, seeks his first win in more than a year in the featured ninth race today at Laurel Park. El Areeb is entered in the 7-furlong $50,000 third-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up. The race attracted a stakes-quality field of eight that also includes El Areeb's stablemate Irish Colonel, stakes winners Sonny Inspired and Noteworthy Peach and multiple stakes-placed Grasshoppin, Final Prospect and Rockinn On Bye. El Areeb has been unable to recapture the form he showed last winter, extending his winning streak to four races with victories in the Withers (G3) and Gotham (G3) at Aqueduct after closing his juvenile campaign with a decisive triumph in the James F. Lewis III at Laurel. The 4-year-old son of Exchange Rate had surgery to repair his knee, injured while training for the 2017 Wood Memorial (G2), and he didn't return to the races until Nov. 11, finishing last of six in the 7-furlong City of Laurel Stakes. El Areeb made his seasonal debut Jan. 8 in the 6-furlong Dave's Friend at Laurel, but had been bothered by a foot problem both before and after the race. He shows six works at Laurel for his return, most recently going 5 furlongs from the gate in 59 seconds March 24, the fastest of 20 horses. Today's featured eighth race is the fifth leg in a 20-cent Rainbow 6 sequence that opens in Race 4 with a jackpot carryover of $154,232.62 from the last live program Sunday.