04/10/2009 11:00PM

Motion has Rebellion scheduled for a repeat bid


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Almost like a superstition, trainer Graham Motion did pretty much everything the same way this winter when bringing Rebellion back from a layoff.

Last year, Rebellion won the Grade 2 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland after being off all winter.

"We've followed very much the same schedule, even down to his last work," said Motion.

Rebellion is one of eight older horses entered in 23rd running of the $250,000 Commonwealth, a seven-furlong Polytrack race on the Blue Grass Stakes undercard. In winning the 2008 Commonwealth under Edgar Prado, Rebellion made a sustained rally to just nip Elite Squadron.

Prado will be back aboard Saturday when Rebellion starts from the outside post.

"We've been duplicating just what we did to get him ready last year," said Motion. After his last race, the Nov. 28 Citation at Hollywood Park, Motion gave him a month off at the farm in Middleburg, Va., then resumed Rebellion's training at Palm Meadows in south Florida in January.

"He's been working quite well," said Motion

Rebellion will be looking to come from the back in a race in which Ravalo figures to make a solo lead. Based in Maryland with Donald Barr, Ravalo will be ridden by John Velazquez when starting from post 7. Some of the 5-year-old gelding's best races have come over synthetic, as his 3-for-4 record on those surfaces attests.

Other contenders in a well-matched field include another Maryland invader, Eternal Star, most recently a close second in the Grade 3 Toboggan at Aqueduct for trainer Mike Trombetta; Keep Laughing, a Kiaran McLaughlin-trained 4-year-old whose lone stakes try resulted in a victory here last spring in the Lafayette Stakes; My Pal Charlie, winner of the Super Derby last year and fourth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile in October; and Storm Treasure, a versatile earner of nearly $680,000 for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Silver Edition and Success Success complete the lineup.

Shakertown: BC veterans clash

Clearly one of the best betting races on the Saturday card is the $100,000 Shakertown Stakes, a 5 1/2-furlong turf race that drew a couple of veterans making their first starts since the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint last October.

Heros Reward, fifth in the BC Turf Sprint, and Mr. Nightlinger (11th) are two of the 14 older horses entered in the Shakertown, which will be limited to 12 starters. Heros Reward, with Javier Castellano in to ride for trainer Dale Capuano, has earned more than $900,000, while Mr. Nightlinger, with Jamie Theriot riding for Bret Calhoun, compiled a five-race winning streak in becoming the top turf sprinter in the Midwest last year.

Other Shakertown contenders include Hellvelyn, a last-out winner over the Gulfstream Park turf for McLaughlin; Hewitts, a Southern California invader turning back from a failed effort in the Grade 1 Kilroe Mile; Fort Prado, a stretch-running earner of nearly $1.1 million; and Rollers, a speedy Barclay Tagg-trained 4-year-old making his grass debut when wheeling back after just six days' rest.

* The Shakertown leads off the $200,000-guaranteed all-stakes pick four (races 6-9). Keeneland will start its regular pick four (races 7-10) with the Commonwealth.

:: (DRF Plus)