03/12/2013 3:07PM

Oaklawn Park: Oxbow works bullet half-mile for Rebel Stakes

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Lynn Roberts/Hodges Photography
Oxbow, runaway winner of the Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds, figures to be the third or fourth betting choice in Saturday's Rebel Stakes.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Oxbow fired a bullet Tuesday morning at Oaklawn in his final prep for Saturday’s Grade 2, $600,000 Rebel, which has a potential field of 14 starters. The 1 1/16-mile race is expected to lure shippers from both coasts, including Super Ninety Nine, Delhomme, and Den’s Legacy.

Oxbow could start as the Rebel’s third or fourth choice, behind some or all of those runners. He is the race’s top local prospect on the strength of his 11-length win in the Grade 3, $200,000 Lecomte at Fair Grounds in January. Oxbow has run once since, a close fourth-place finish in the Grade 2, $400,000 Risen Star, also at Fair Grounds. On Tuesday he breezed in the first set after the renovation break, covering a half-mile in 48.40 seconds under exercise rider Rudy Quevedo. The move was the fastest of 25 at the distance.

“He’s doing very good,” said D. Wayne Lukas, who trains Oxbow for Calumet Farm. “I’m very pleased with him.

“He’s coming out of his own stall this time, doesn’t have to ship. There’s some pluses.”

[DERBY WATCH: Top 20 Kentucky Derby contenders with odds and video]

Oxbow jumped into his drill, covering his opening eighth of a mile in 11.80 seconds, according to clockers. He proceeded to cover his first quarter in 23.80, three furlongs in 35.60, and went out five furlongs in a well-controlled 1:02.40.

Mike Smith has the mount.

Lukas also sent out Will Take Charge for a half-mile work Tuesday, and the horse breezed in 49.40 in the second set under Quevedo. Jon Court has the mount in the Rebel. Earlier this meet, Will Take Charge won the $150,000 Smarty Jones.

Super Ninety Nine is the probable Rebel favorite off an 11-length win in the Grade  3, $300,000 Southwest at Oaklawn. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 102. Rafael Bejarano has the mount for trainer Bob Baffert.

Super Ninety Nine is scheduled to fly in from Southern California on Thursday, according to Oaklawn racing officials. The flight is also expected to bring Den’s Legacy, the runner-up in the Grade 2 Lewis, and Treasury Bill, who was second in the Grade 2 San Vicente. Others Rebel probables, according to Oaklawn stakes coordinator Glenn Reeder, are Delhomme, who was third in the Grade 2 Remsen, Texas Bling, Always In a Tiz, Hardrock Eleven, Carve, Big Lute, and So Raise Yourglass. Officials said Proud Strike is possible, while a decision on the late-running Stormy Holiday was to be made Wednesday, according to trainer Mac Robertson.

“It will be depending on how he works,” Robertson said Tuesday. “You’ve got all that speed going in there. He might fit.”

The potentially large Rebel field does not surprise Lukas.

“It’s a pretty nice little purse, and it falls in a nice spot date-wise, and it is 50 points [to the winner],” he said. “People have to start looking at these races if they’re interested in the Derby. It falls into a real good spot for most horses. They can go from this in any direction; they can go to any one of the 100-point races from here.”

Rebel entries were to be taken Wednesday.

Oaklawn is scheduled to open its infield for Saturday’s card, as well as for each of the meet’s subsequent Saturday programs through the closing-day on April 13.

Calumet buys Tour Guide

Tour Guide, a winner of his last three starts, including the Sugar Bowl at Fair Grounds, has been purchased privately by Calumet Farm, said the horse’s new trainer, Lukas. He is a 3-year-old by Broken Vow who is 4 for 6.

“We’re not looking at him as a Derby horse,” Lukas said. “We think he might be really nice at six furlongs to a mile.

“In a perfect world, I’d like to make the Derby Trial.”

The Grade 3, $175,000 Derby Trial is a one-turn mile at Churchill Downs on April 27.

John Nicoletti More than 1 year ago
Smart move by Lukas on the rider switch to Mike smith. Court is a fine jockey.For the derby, you need the best, and Mike smith is the jock. Really like Oxbow, and hope Lukas and Smith can get the colt to lay a little off the pace. With his pedigree he should run all day.
Sam More than 1 year ago
Keep your normal breathing until all the preps are over.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Titletown Five is the Lukas horse to watch imo.
Ronald Dodgen More than 1 year ago
Huge fields this point system has been fantastic!!
Joseph More than 1 year ago
Point system is merely something differnt; really isn't the impact you believe it is. Last year their were 20 entries in the Southwest. Trainers still lightly racing and prepping their horses and select picking their way to have a derby entry. As distance increases and horses not trained and conditioned correctly, they will continue to break down.
Jd Staton More than 1 year ago
do you really think its the point system or the fact that theres not 1 or 2 horses in every race that trainers are avoiding. maybe its better 3yo and more of them. other then the verranzano hype there not really any dominate horses. i really dont think the point system changes much. other then the fact theres less races no sprints no turf
Nick Kenyon More than 1 year ago
this years crop of 3yr.olds is the best i have seen in a very long time and not just a couple of standouts this field has more depth than any the past 10yrs. or more.
Joseph More than 1 year ago
Really!!!
Sam More than 1 year ago
It's always the"best" every year at this time. At the end of the year, you'll see the "best" will be down to two or three.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Yeah I wish I could agree, but Sam is right. It always looks so deep and then they start falling by the wayside. It happens every spring.
Matthew More than 1 year ago
Agree...we have horses at least firing triple digits, the last couple years have been pathetic. As to how they'll hold up only time will tell but their certainly faster as a whole.
Julie Gregory More than 1 year ago
not that this is related to this article but how do any of you readers feel about this crop of 3yo compared to last years or even the past few tears at this point. kinda seems to me the there may be more talent and its spread out a little more between barns
Jd Staton More than 1 year ago
it seems like im hearing gelding a lot more this year. i hope the geldings turn into monsters. atleast they wont get retired to a stud far before we see how good they really are. maybe there will be some around in the breeders cup
Ronald Dodgen More than 1 year ago
Verranzano is just galloping around the track and out worked Discreet Cat before his last. Tiz The Truth just a maiden winner but ran his last quarter in 23.46 seconds but grabbed a quarter and has missed a lot of work Baffert things he can make the Wood. Violence who is retired now ran 45.85 108.94 for a turn time of 23.09 seconds. Typically of horses who run top notch turn times they will run the next quarter about a second slower, if so Violence would have run 133.0 for the mile. Of course he can fade badly if he is a sprinter or is injured.
redboy More than 1 year ago
S99 Dens Legacy Exacta. Super99 wins by 5
Union_Rags More than 1 year ago
Glad your back, Wayne.
John Flynn More than 1 year ago
Wayne Dumped Court & Hired Smith. Some Things Never Change!!!
Chris Moses More than 1 year ago
Court has the mount on Will Take Charge again.
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Wouldn"t you if Smith was available to ride in a 600k race ? Basically a win and your in the DERBY ! Mike Smith....
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Oxbow seems be plagued with being wide on the turns. He will run very well here. He will not hit the board in the Derby. Super 99 will run very well here but will get more of a challenge than last time. He has no shot to win the Derby. I just like this horse Big Lute. He will make his presence felt here but don't think he's quite ready for this. He is a big horse, throws a long low straight right lead, and with that stride makes his speed easily. Maybe not this weekend, but in a few months as he develops and gains experience, he might be the best horse in this group.
Matthew More than 1 year ago
Without the post draw I don't know how you could throw any horse outta a finish in the Derby...pedigree says he'll run all day.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Well of course I could wrong about that, but sometimes it's fun to step out a bit. Both are forwardly placed horses and post position in Derby won't make much difference. Oxbow always runs well and with a trip inside instead of five wide as usual, this weekend he'll be right there again, he just doesn't look like a horse that will improve and get the job done on Derby day, this weekend maybe. 99 will always go to the front and as far as he can as all Bafferts horses do. Interesting how his speed types always can get the distance, just not interesting to me. There are several more interesting horses to me.
Sam More than 1 year ago
That's the up-side being put out by an analysis about Palice Malice; that it a phenomina his sire, Curlin had, and since PM is a May foal, he is growing stronger with each race and should reach maturity by the Derby. Who knows?
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Exactly, the Derby is a crapshoot. This is just the fun part of foreplay before the big event.