03/06/2010 12:00AM

Nakatani to ride Dublin in Rebel


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Jockey Corey Nakatani will ride Dublin in the Grade 2, $300,000 Rebel at Oaklawn next Saturday, said D. Wayne Lukas, who trains the horse. Nakatani, the meet's leading rider, will replace Terry Thompson, who was aboard Dublin when he finished second in the Grade 3 Southwest last month in his first start since November.

Lukas said the decision was made with William Mack and Robert Baker, who race Dublin, the winner of last year's Grade 1 Hopeful.

"Bill Mack and Robert Baker are very, very knowledgeable, very, very involved, and as owners they just felt that we maybe should have more experience in the big arena," Lukas said. "No reflection on Terry at all, because Terry did a beautiful job working with this horse this spring.

"But they just thought we might need somebody that has been in more than one Breeders' Cup or [Kentucky] Derby, and had a little more experience going for them. Nakatani's riding very well right now. He's available. He wanted to ride the horse. And he's here at Oaklawn, so he was a logical choice."

Nakatani moved his tack from Southern California to Oaklawn this meet and from here is to ride in Kentucky. Lukas said Dublin will have his final work for the Rebel on either Sunday or Monday.