02/10/2006 1:00AM

Private Vow may return in Rebel

Four-Footed Fotos
Private Vow, winning the Kentucky Jockey Club, is currently training at Palm Meadows.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Private Vow, a two-time Grade 2 winner last year and a leading candidate for the Kentucky Derby, is being considered for the Grade 3, $300,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 18, his trainer, Steve Asmussen, said Friday.

The Rebel is run over 1 1/16 miles and serves as a prep for the Grade 2, $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 15.

"It might be the perfect spot to start him back in," said Asmussen.

Private Vow hasn't raced since winning the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs on Nov. 26. For his effort, he earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 96. His other Grade 2 win came when he rolled to a nine-length victory in the Futurity at Belmont Park. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 94 in that race.

Currently based at Palm Meadows, a training center in south Florida, Private Vow worked five furlongs in 1:03.60 Feb. 5. Asmussen said he would give Private Vow another five-furlong work Sunday, probably in company.

Southwest part of three-stakes weekend

There will be three stakes at Oaklawn this coming week, when racing will be held Thursday through Monday, which is Presidents Day. The focus of the weekend will be Lawyer Ron's start in the $250,000 Southwest, the first local route stakes for 3-year-olds eyeing the Arkansas Derby.

A one-mile race, the Southwest will be run on a Monday for the first time. Among those expected to face the Bob Holthus-trained Lawyer Ron are multiple allowance winner Steppenwolfer, who will be ridden by Robby Albarado, said trainer Dan Peitz.

Travelin' Leroy will make his 3-year-old debut in the Southwest. Carlos Marquez Jr. has the mount, said trainer Gammy Vazquez. Travelin' Leroy is stakes-placed, and earlier in his career earned a Beyer of 95 when he won his maiden at Belmont Park in May.

Mark of Success, second to Lawyer Ron in the Grade 3 Risen Star at the Fair Grounds meet at Louisiana Downs, is considered a probable for the Southwest for trainer Dallas Stewart. Also probable is Kingsfield, winner of the Black Gold at Fair Grounds and stakes winner Red Raymond.

A possible starter is Admiral's Arch, a son of High Yield trained by Asmussen.

"He was second here in an [allowance] opening week, and he's definitely a horse with a future," said Asmussen.

Baghdaria pointing for Martha Washington

Baghdaria, who upset French Park in the Grade 3 Silverbulletday last out, is scheduled to make her next start in the $50,000 Martha Washington, a one-mile race for 3-year-old fillies next Sunday. The Martha Washington is the first step toward the Grade 2, $250,000 Fantasy at Oaklawn on April 14.

Kat Nan Do, a stakes winner last out at Evangeline Downs for trainer Cole Norman, is also probable for the race.

The stakes action next weekend will begin with the $50,000 Pippin, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares to be run Saturday. Among those expected are Grade 2 winner La Reason, trained by David Vance, and Culinary, a multiple stakes winner for trainer Michael Stidham.

Immune to Gloom, third in the $50,000 American Beauty at six furlongs last out at Oaklawn, is being considered for the Pippin, said her trainer, Tim Ritchey.

"She runs short or long," he said. "She's won doing both."

* Ritchey said Roamin Murphy, a 6 3/4-length debut maiden winner at Gulfstream, has been nominated to the 3-year-old stakes series at Oaklawn.

* Catonight is being pointed to the $50,000 Mountain Valley on Feb. 25, said Asmussen. Ritchey said Urban Guy is also training toward the Mountain Valley.

* Lila Kay's Rose, a good-looking allowance winner here Feb. 4, will be considered for the $50,000 Spring Fever on March 4, said her trainer, Bobby Barnett.

* A diverse group of fillies and mares meet in the ninth on Sunday, a 5 1/2-furlong optional claiming allowance. Among the leading contenders are Bayley Alley, Cherokee Eyes, Space Cruise, and Special Hunter.