03/06/2017 3:51PM

Petrov likely to start in Rebel Stakes

Coady Photography
Petrov (second from right) led into the turn before being overtaken by One Liner in the Southwest Stakes last out.

Southwest Stakes runner-up Petrov emerged from a Saturday workout in good order, and there’s a “90 percent” chance he’ll make his next start in the Grade 2, $900,000 Rebel on March 18, trainer Ron Moquett said Monday. Petrov worked five-eighths in company, covering the distance in 59.60 seconds and galloping out strongly in his first breeze since the Southwest.

“This was kind of a maintenance breeze and letting him kind of tell me where he’s at,” Moquett said. “He was very happy and did it all the right way.”

Moquett said Jose Ortiz will have the mount in the Rebel.

Pick five a winner for Oaklawn

Oaklawn replaced its pick six with a pick five at this meet, and the bet has been welcomed by horseplayers, according to handle figures from director of racing David Longinotti. Handle on the pick five, which has no carryover, topped $1 million through the halfway point of the meet Feb. 25. Longinotti said during the same period in 2016, total handle on the pick six was $142,000.

In another wagering trend, the new show-bet bonus targeting ontrack players with a reduced takeout of 10 percent has helped boost ontrack show pools by 38 percent over the first half of the meet in 2016, said Longinotti. Oaklawn’s ontrack show pool made up 12 percent of its total ontrack handle last year but accounted for 17 percent through the first half of this meet, he said.

“I’m hearing people all over the plant think it’s a good deal,” said Longinotti.

Oaklawn has averaged 9.4 horses a race through the first 28 dates of the season, down a tad from 9.6 at the same point a year ago, and the difference has been the equine herpesvirus positives in Louisiana and Kentucky, said Longinotti. Oaklawn did not accept horses from those locales for a portion of the meet.

“Field size, I think, is holding its own considering the issues we had with no horses able to come up from Louisiana, then losing specific areas of Kentucky,” he said.

Purse distribution was $12 million through the first half of the meet, up from $10.7 million during the corresponding period in 2016, said Longinotti.

In other high points at this meet, handle on the Southwest/Razorback card Feb. 20 was $6.1 million, with attendance estimated at 23,500. One Liner won the Southwest with a Beyer Speed Figure of 102, and Gun Runner made his 4-year-old debut a winning one in the Razorback. The races shared a card for the first time, with the Razorback moved from its traditional slot in mid-March.

“We love the fact that the top 3-year-old Beyer Speed Figure thus far is here, in our Southwest, and that we had one of the top older horses in the Razorback,” Longinotti said. “When we moved the Razorback and bumped the purse, the goal was trying to create a prep race for Dubai. I think we achieved that. I didn’t think we fully expected to achieve it in the first year. With Gun Runner coming, it exceeded our expectations.”

Gun Runner is now being pointed for the $10 million Dubai World Cup, trainer Steve Asmussen told Daily Racing Form.