03/05/2013 3:57PM

Oaklawn Park: Super Ninety Nine, Oxbow part of big group pointing to Rebel Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Super Ninety Nine could return to Oaklawn Park for the Rebel Stakes on March 16.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Super Ninety Nine and Oxbow are both being pointed to the Grade 2, $600,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 16, their respective trainers said Tuesday. Rafael Bejarano has the mount on Super Ninety Nine, according to trainer Bob Baffert, while Mike Smith will be aboard Oxbow, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said.

The Rebel has a large field coming together, with shippers from both coasts expected as well as a vast array of locals. The 1 1/16-mile race can have a maximum field of 14, and at this point Oaklawn is unlikely to split the race if it is oversubscribed, according to David Longinotti, the track’s assistant general manager for racing. Last season, Oaklawn ran the Southwest in two divisions because of overflow entries. The Southwest and Rebel are local stepping-stones to the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 13.

Super Ninety Nine invaded Oaklawn from his Southern California base last month and was an 11-length winner of the Grade 3, $300,000 Southwest. He has bounced out of the Feb. 18 race so well that plans are to send him back for the Rebel, Baffert said. Baffert also said that Den’s Legacy, runner-up in the Grade 2 Robert Lewis last out at Santa Anita, is probable for the Rebel and that Oaklawn leading rider Ricardo Santana Jr. has the mount. Den’s Legacy, who last year won the Grade 3 Generous at Betfair Hollywood Park, races for the Arkansas-based Westrock Stables.

Oxbow’s connections had been considering the Louisiana Derby for his next start. The Oaklawn-based horse won the Grade 3 Lecomte at Fair Grounds in January, then returned to the New Orleans track last month and finished a close fourth in the Grade 2 Risen Star.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

“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 Will Take Charge, winner of the $150,000 Smarty Jones at Oaklawn in January, also will 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, Lukas said.

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 some material added to it on Monday.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has as many as three candidates for the Rebel. He said Capo Bastone and Delhomme are probable, while the undefeated Park City, who is to be entered in this weekend’s Tampa Bay Derby, is possible. Capo Bastone was third in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and last month won a Gulfstream allowance in his 3-year-old debut. John Velazquez has the mount on Capo Bastone, Pletcher said. Garrett Gomez is to ride Delhomme, who was a close third in the Grade 2 Remsen in his last start Nov. 24.

Treasury Bill, who was second in the Grade 2 San Vicente, is being pointed to the Rebel, according to trainer Ron Ellis.

Departing is a Fair Grounds-based runner who is being considered for the Rebel, according to trainer Al Stall Jr. The other options for the horse are the Louisiana Derby and the Sunland Derby. Departing won last Saturday night’s Texas Heritage at Sam Houston with a Beyer Speed Figure of 97.

Among the locals on deck for the Rebel are Carve, who is 2 for 2, with both of his wins coming at Oaklawn. He took a first-level allowance in his most recent start Feb. 17.

“We’re pointing him for the Rebel,” trainer Steve Asmussen said. “He’s a horse that has trained very impressively since his last win.”

The local group also is expected to include Always in a Tiz, Texas Bling, Big Lute, and possibly Heaven’s Runway, according to his co-owner, K.K. Jayaraman. So Raise Yourglass, a debut winner at Oaklawn on Feb. 16, is probable, trainer Ken McPeek said. Since the race, the colt by Bob and John has been purchased privately by the North Dakota-based ownership of Darwin Krenz and his family, according to McPeek.

“He’s got to breeze again next weekend, and as long as everything goes smooth in that process then he’s good to go,” McPeek said of So Raise Yourglass targeting the Rebel.

The Rebel is worth 50 points to the winner on the new system governing preference into the Kentucky Derby if the May 4 race is oversubscribed. The runner-up in the Rebel will earn 20 points; the third-place finisher, 10; and the fourth-place finisher, 5 points.

◗ Channel Isle, an allowance winner at Oaklawn who was fourth in the Southwest, is likely to run next in the Louisiana Derby, Lukas said Tuesday. Red Wings, third in a local allowance won by Carve, is a candidate for the Spiral Stakes at Turfway, Lukas said.

◗ Titletown Five emerged from his second-place finish in the Gazebo at Oaklawn in good order and plans for his next start are still being determined, Lukas said Tuesday. He said the horse has been nominated to a number of races, including the Louisiana Derby and Sunland Derby.

◗ San Vicente winner Shakin It Up is a candidate for the Sunland Derby, according Baffert.

◗ For Greater Glory, who shipped from Oaklawn to run third in the Battaglia Memorial last Saturday at Turfway, is being pointed to the Spiral at Turfway, trainer Steve Hobby said.

– additional reporting by Marcus Hersh and Jay Privman