03/05/2013 9:17AM

Oaklawn: Oxbow staying home for Rebel

Lynn Roberts/Hodges Photography
Oxbow won the Lecomte (above) and finished fourth in the Risen Star at Fair Grounds.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Oxbow is to make his next start in the Grade 2, $600,000 Rebel at Oaklawn Park on March 16 and will be ridden by Mike Smith, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said on Tuesday.

Oxbow had been under consideration for the Louisiana Derby after winning the Grade 3 Lecomte at Fair Grounds in January and returning to New Orleans last month and finishing a close fourth in the Grade 2 Risen Star.

“He’s going in the Rebel,” Lukas said Tuesday. “There’s a couple of reasons. He’s training well here at home in Arkansas. And I’ve shipped him twice already, and I think rather than ship him three times, I’m going keep him here and try him here.”

Lukas said that Will Take Charge, winner of the $150,000 Smarty Jones at Oaklawn in January, will also run in the Rebel. Jon Court, who has been riding both Oxbow and Will Take Charge, will be aboard Will Take Charge in the Rebel, said Lukas.

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Both horses were out for six-furlong works early Tuesday morning at Oaklawn, with Oxbow going in 1:13.80 in the first set, and Will Take Charge in 1:13.60 in the second set. The works were conducted from the 5 1/2-furlong pole to a sixteenth of a mile past the wire. Both horses worked by themselves under exercise rider Rudy Quevedo, on an Oaklawn surface that had material added to it on Monday.

Oxbow ranks eighth on the latest Kentucky Derby points leader board with 16 points, while Will Take Charge is 16th on the list, with 10 points. The new points system will determine preference into the Kentucky Derby if the May 4 race is oversubscribed.

The Rebel is worth 50 points to the winner, as well 20 points to second, 10 to third and 5 to fourth. It will be run at 1 1/16 miles and is Oaklawn’s final prep for the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 13.

Oxbow closed at 31-1 in last weekend’s second pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. He races for Calumet Farm, while Will Take Charge is owned by Willis D. Horton.