02/05/2013 4:09PM

Oaklawn Park: Big Lute will be pointed to Rebel Stakes


Big Lute, a dominant debut winner of a maiden special weight sprint at Oaklawn last Friday, could make his stakes debut in the Grade 2, $600,000 Rebel, trainer Steve Hobby said on Tuesday. The mile and a sixteenth race for 3-year-olds is March 16 at Oaklawn.

“The ideal situation would be to give him experience going two turns one time [in an allowance], then go into the Rebel,” said Hobby. “That would be the best-case scenario.”

Hobby said to cover all bases, Big Lute would be nominated to a number of 3-year-old stakes, including the Grade 3, $300,000 Southwest at a mile and a sixteenth at Oaklawn on Feb. 18.

Big Lute, who races for Alex and JoAnn Lieblong of Arkansas, won his debut by more than four lengths. He covered six furlongs in a sharp 1:10.43 and for the effort earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 90. Big Lute is a son of Midnight Lute, and he was a $275,000 yearling purchase at Keeneland in September 2011.

“He fits his name,” Hobby said Big Lute. “He’s just a manly, manly horse.”

Big Lute was one of two 3-year-old maiden special weight winners the Lieblongs and Hobby had last weekend at Oaklawn. Sunday, the Afleet Alex colt For Greater Glory won at a mile and a sixteenth in his fourth career start. Both horses were ridden by Robby Albarado.

Hobby entered Thursday’s card at Oaklawn four wins from his 1,000th Thoroughbred victory as a trainer. His first Thoroughbred training win came in Hot Springs, on Feb. 20, 1985.